April 17, 2016 Return to overview

The power of a 500lb Gorilla and the Internet of Things

Davra are one of those annoying early stage Companies...


Those of you who have been following me for the past few years will know that Davra are one of those annoying early stage Companies trying to take over the world of IOT.  Our Davratm AEP Platform has proven extremely successful with customers and partners alike mainly due to our ability to innovate and provide a flexible solution that suits their needs.  Our small size allows us to be nimble and react to market trends in a fast and efficient manner and our lack of a complicated hierarchy means we get to change our mind when we need to so our product actually hasn’t turned out how we originally planned it, but that’s not actually a bad thing.

In an emerging market like IOT, small is good, right ?

The downside of being small is that it doesn’t necessarily mean less work.  My team (as far as I’m concerned) are the most driven, focused, hard working bunch of guys on the planet, they work lots of hours, for pretty good pay but none of the flashy on-site gyms, foosball tables, sleep pods or gaming rooms that some companies offer. They do however, get to see the code they write or the product they sell in action in a real customer environment and definitely don’t get bored with their work.  I’m in 5 countries in the next 6 weeks and right now I’m only the third most travelled guy in the team, working for a startup isn’t easy but we’re innovating, its not supposed to be.

 

But can BIG be better ?

So all this got me thinking the other day, is it better to be a big player with lots of resources, cash, people and marketing muscle to break into a new market or a small innovative company who can give customers what they need, quickly and with minimum fuss ?  The logic is that new markets bring new success stories so the small agile players ultimately end up winning and in turn become big lumbering giants,  hence we ‘Google’ things when we want to search the web and we don’t ‘Bing’ them, we ‘Instagram’ each other our latest pics and we don’t ‘Kodak’ them.  That said, there are lots of examples of big companies successfully using their market power to win in a new market and to make it theirs, whoever thought that in 2015 Cisco would be one of the largest phone manufacturers in the world for example or Apple would have taken over the music industry.

Which brings me right back to where this whole train of thought started.

Access is Everything

8 weeks ago Davrastm platform was added to the Cisco Global pricelist (GPL), this was the culmination of 18 months work with a lot of discussions, negotiations and general haggling done before we could get to that point.  Nothing about our product changed, we didn’t suddenly add lots of extra features, reduce its price or give away free money to new customers.  We just made it available to Cisco sales guys, partners and customers across the globe, in one day our accessible market grew a thousand fold and what happened next has been amazing.

In the 8 weeks (40 working days) since we went live we have added $9M in deals to our pipeline, that’s an average of $225,000 a day of new opportunities hitting my desk.

We have been invited to engage in projects in 18 countries across 6 continents and with some of the largest companies in the world, we now have tens of thousands of new partners with probably over a million sales people that can sell our products and all this is before we even start to promote or talk about the fact that we’re there.  Overnight we’ve added 30 years of Cisco’s knowledge, market experience and goodwill to our brand and this has given us massive credibility and reach.

 

Wrapping up.

So the moral of todays story is that small is good but big gets business.   So how do we merge the two ?  How do we let growing business keep their agility or make bigger business more flexible and creative ?

Well if I knew that I’d be rich and I certainly wouldn’t be travelling to 5 countries in the next 6 weeks, but if I do figure it out I wouldn’t get to see all my friends in London, Montreal, Berlin, San Francisco and Dubai then would I and maybe life would be a little bit poorer.

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