The path that most entrepreneurs envision to growth is to create a product or an idea and the world will buy it. Usually by the time the development is complete, the bills are coming in and revenue has not caught up enough to cover the carrying cost. The only option at this point is to get a real job and put the dream on hold or solicit outside funding. The downside of this model, besides the obvious selling of your soul, is that most inventors want to see a return on investment within a couple of years. To do this, much of their cash flow is used on developing a channel.
Common wisdom (this came from a discussion with a couple of analysts from Gartner a couple years ago) is that you can have a little niche of a product via direct sales, but you’ll never be anything substantial without a serious channel. To be a real company, you need to gross tens of millions of sales. You can’t do that without a channel. This means regional offices in metro areas and countries, presence at all the right events, coverage by analysts, etc. And that takes capital.
Well, we continue to buck that trend. Perhaps our customers are self-selecting, but more and more are shunning trade shows and are finding good products through peer groups and selective Internet searches.
The nice thing about our organic growth is that we have grown without the traditional channels or the expensive management that are pushed on start ups. Hence we keep our prices well under the competition while remaining financially healthy.
Here is a recent unsolicited testimonial thread I recently ran into. It is this type of support that will ensure we will remain privately held, profitable, and affordably priced into the forseeable future.
From: The EDUCAUSE Security Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:SECURITY@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Rafael Cortes
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2008 4:01 PM
Subject: [SECURITY] Packet shaping and Bandwidth Management
Is anyone doing anything different these days with packet shaping using Packeteer appliances,
especially due to the increase of streaming video and flash?
Manager, Network and Technical Services
Mercer County Community College
Hi, Rafael. We had a Packeteer here at Keystone College, but outgrew it when we upgraded our bandwidth. Someone on this list suggested looking at a NetEqualizer box (http://netequalizer.com/). I did, bought it, love it. No maintenance, no updates, no headaches. It just sits there and works…