A brief tour of the issues and opportunities
I t has often been said that 90 percent of everything that has beeninvented since the start of civilization has been invented in the last fifty years. I don’t know who came up with that statistic, or if it’s true
(how would we know?), but it sounds good, and it’s very compelling!
Much the same can be said of go-to-market strategy. People have been
selling things – going to market with products and services – since the
dawn of civilization, but not much, if anything, has changed in how
they do it, until very recently. Make a product. Find a customer. Meet
face to face to discuss the product with the customer. Negotiate. Close
the deal. Check in with the customer to ensure he, she or it is happy.
And then find another customer and start all over. Does this all sound
familiar? Sure it does. People have been going to market in precisely
this way, from the first suppliers of cave-painting tools, to hawkers of
medieval battleaxes, to purveyors of steam engines and locomotives, to
the blue suits in the 1970s pitching mainframe computers. The basic
face-to-face sale – the process of going to market, in person, to meet
customers and make deals – has a long, proud history. It’s a model for
doing business that predates the recent harping about ‘business
models’ by at least ten thousand years.