chapter  1
25 Pages

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.