Monthly Archives: March 2014

Business Development title is up for grabs

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There's been lots of activity on LinkedIn groups discussing the role of Business Development or BizDev.  I found it interesting since I've occupied this slot and hired/promoted people into the slot.

This is a title that is being used to describe many roles now, including:

  1. Inside Sales
  2. Territory Sales
  3. All or part of Marketing Product Management
  4. Social Media content management

and others...

What surprises me is people in the first decade of their career with the title. I am schooled that BizDev is bolted to the CEO or division level executive leadership and working 3-10 years out. Self-driving cars, contact lenses and fiber to the home is BizDev for Google.

What are you going to do when your market saturates? All products, markets and industries mature and create challenges for the leadership. I believe the role should be led by people after accomplishments in Marketing/Sales and General Management with solid foundations in finance and some law. They should be able to sell stakeholders on how taking an "out of bounds" risk makes sense and be able to manage an acquisition or divestiture.

It is sometimes a convenient title for  founders if the company grows up around them. This is fine if they grow into the role. Don't mistake a practical people decision with the strategic role longer term.

Worst case I see the title sometimes being used to avoid using "sales" in someones title, the dead giveaway here is when the title is assigned with  1 year sales metrics.

Sloppy strategic thinking...

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iPhone 4s was the Vax 11/780 of Pocket Computers

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Old engineers remember the Digital Equipment Corporations' VAX 11/780 computer. The Vax 11/780 was the "benchmark" unit of computing (1 MIP) in the engineering world of the 1980's. Competitors had to compare their performance to the VAX 11/780. It was the machine Unix grew up on.

I think the iPhone 4s  became the first "benchmark" of pocket computers  (i.e. smartphones). It hit the "sweet spot" of cost/performance running a general purpose dual core iOS 5.0 (shared with iPods) with a MAC look and feel and properly virtualized i/o.


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