Disclaimer: much of this post’s contents is based on advice provided by other, far more experienced, individuals. I am sharing my understanding of that advice and what we do at indeni to implement it.
Much has been said about a startup needing a great market and a product that fits it:
- Marc Andreessen posted about this a few months back (a re-post)
- Mark Suster discussed this a while back (among a few other points)
- Brad Feld recently discussed the illusion of product/market fit
There are of course more posts, but these three will give you three different perspectives on the matter, and that’s plenty to start with.
One of the questions you always need to deal with is not just targeting a great market but figuring out a way to accelerate into it, or with it.
Into it means finding a way to very quickly grow in a market that might be growing slowly. Usually it means you have an offering that is several times better than the incumbents’ and you can displace them.
With it means a market that is rapidly growing and that if your product is on the short list of many customers you are bound to grow aggressively.
So you should always ask yourself – how do I achieve one of the two, or both? How do you navigate your company, your team, your offering, to ensure you can grow rapidly?
One thing we’ve found to work well at indeni is to latch yourself onto rockets.
Our solution is a must-have for anyone deploying network and security equipment and cares for their uptime. We know this because customers tell us this. So our growth is dictated by our ability to reach existing users of networking and security equipment as well as making sure that as they grow they choose indeni to grow with them.
So, if we identify high-growth networking and security players (all relative to size) and work together with them we can use that to propel our business. Ergo, latching ourselves onto rockets.
Spending time at Palo Alto Networks’ Ignite conference this week showed me that PANW is clearly a rocket worth latching onto. There are other players in the market that are rockets as well – Check Point, once a bit more sleepy, is growing aggressively and F5 are expanding into new markets at a dizzying pace. Those are our three rockets today.
What are your rockets?