The Tech Startup Manifesto

There is a lot of new technology and a shitload of money available. This new wave demands to be ridden. It is the second era of tech startups. Not blowing bubbles but making money. Well, read this manifesto – or our rambling opinions – about tech startups.

Have anything to add or subtract? Leave a comment down below!

Love the love

Great left brainers populate B2B tech companies. People that really understand how to innovate the hell out of technology. However, when they start communicating, we rarely see or hear anything that appeals to the right side of the brain.

It seems very different in the B2C arena. Appealing to the emotional side is not being discussed at all – it’s a no-brainer. We all know Coca Cola, Heineken, Apple and the like. These brands have built an emotional connection with their customers. This connection gives humongous value – not just for customer loyalty and the ability to request a premium price, but also for employee recruitment and retention, as well as for investor loyalty. Indeed a no-brainer.

We’ve been led to believe that emotion has little to do with B2B buyers’ decision making process. It is generally accepted that a rational approach is needed, quoting risk analysis, cost to benefit and USP’s up the ying yang. That they want to know.

It appears, however, that perhaps this is very far from the truth. A not so recent study from CEB Global and Google found that B2B brands receive twice the impact when they connect with buyers through an emotional approach vs focusing on business value. B2B purchasers are driven by personal value. Surprising?

Embrace the emotional side. Love the love!

5 quotes why B2B tech startups do not need a brand

‘We’re not in the B2C market’

‘Selling is done exclusively by the founder’

‘We have razor focus on a niche market’

‘We’re not interested in branding’

‘Brand is our next step’

“Spending money on marketing is wasted”

Money spent on marketing and communication is often felt as wasted. And, not surprisingly, it is often the case.

But maybe it should be reformulated to: ‘Spending money on bad marketing is wasted’.

What makes marketing bad? Some if the top indicators of bad marketing:

  • Cookie-cutter marketing. Just doing the same as all the other guys. No one is ever fired for doing the same, right?
  • Average or worse marketing/creative guys. For programmers, it is known that there is more than a 10 fold productivity difference between the best and worst. For marketeers, expect the same. The best work for consumer brands and agencies. The worst for B2B tech companies.
  • No bigger idea than the product being sold. No answer to ‘Why’. No vision on what drives the customers’ market or its future.

Use sweat equity over cash

Startups need cash. Getting investors in is – for many – the top priority. The rationals is: no cash – no product – no company. The investor pitch gets more focus than the sales pitch.

Bottom line is: seriously consider sweat equity as a way to bootstrap your business. This is a great way to get the best people in and have them committed to making it a huge success. And, sweat equity keeps the focus on where it should be: create a product and sell the hell out of it!

Lead the pack

Write a book. Create your own magic quadrant. Lead the pack. Be the authority in your domain. Define the conversation. Shape the market.

Only few are successful in being a sustained thought leader. The biggest hurdle that needs to be overcome is the fact that the brightest guys in tech are not the best communicators. And, these guys don’t want to spend time on creating nice presentations, blog posts and hosting webinars. How to fix it? Don’t attempt to do everything yourself. Curate content of others. Put the best on the stand.