Building for the Enterprise

Lecture 12: Building for the Enterprise

Link: How to Start a Startup

(You can find notes to the other lectures here.) 

Aaron Levie (@levie)

In the Internet in 2004 there wasn’t a lot going on.

Any market that has a significant change in the underlying raw materials or the enabling factors is about to change in a very significant way.

There is $35 billion spent on global apps today.

Global digital advertising market is $135 billion.

Global enterprise I.T. is $3.7 trillion.

A lot of (enterprise software) companies are around for a few years before their technology is even used in the enterprise.

This is the most magical time to build an enterprise software company just in terms of how much change is going on in organizations.

Most application categories are moving to the cloud.

We’re going from a world of customized software to standardized platforms.

Every single enterprise is changing the way they are getting their products to their customers.

Every industry is going to have a technological component of what they do.

Every company in the world needs better technology to work smarter, faster, more securely.

Spot technology disruptions. Look for new enabling technologies or wide trends that create a wide gap between how things have been done and how they can be done.

With the enterprise you want to start intentionally small. Find the wedge where you can create a product that will slip through the gap of other existing products. Your product can expand over time.

You really want to find asymmetries.

You want to do things incumbents can’t or won’t do because it’s economically or technically infeasible.

You want to build technology that is platform agnostic.

Find the almost-crazy outliers.

Build for what is missing when you’re living in the future.

Listen to your customers but don’t always build exactly what they’re telling you to.

Modularize don’t customize. Build modular components then everything into the technology itself.

Think about openness and APIs.

Focus on the user always.

Bring consumer DNA into the product development process.

Your product should sell itself but you still need sales people.

Book: Crossing the Chasm

Book: The Innovator’s Dilemma

Book: Behind the Cloud