The difference between winners and losers

After working with almost 300 clients over the past several years, the difference between the winners and losers among technology companies has become clear.  The winners almost always share these four qualities:

  • They have a specialized focus (like social media management, big data analytics or IT operations).
  • They have unique IP or an original approach like distributed architecture.
  • They’re leveraging an inflection point in the market (like mobile marketing or IT-as-a-Service).
  • And, they have a strong, engaging point of view that captures the imagination of the market.

Successful companies have in common


An engaging point of view stems from a company’s positioning strategy.  Look at what successful companies like Box, Jive, RightNow,, SuccessFactors, Workday and Yammer all have in common.  In addition to impressive multiples, they all have powerful, differentiated positioning stories.

Companies need to abandon the traditional product-centric approach to positioning that plagues most stories with me-too feature lists and vendor geek speak.  In its place, they should lead with more buyer-centric positioning that answers these three questions:

  1. Why your company, now?
  2. How are you different?
  3. How will my life be better?

Answering these questions is harder for most than they think it will be.  Try it out on your company to see if you have a powerful, differentiated story.