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Ton Dobbe

Chief Inspiration Officer at Value Inspiration

Javea, Spain

Ton Dobbe is the founder of Value Inspiration.
In 2017 he saw two fundamental issues:
A) We're living in a world where global problems are just increasing and
B) 90% of startups still fail.

That's where the light went on: Imagine how fast we could solve the world's biggest problems if more SaaS Startups would succeed and gain traction sooner.

Since then he's been on a mission to help fix this. He wrote his book The Remarkable Effect, and established a mastermind/workshop approach to proactively guide B2B SaaS CEOs and their teams in accelerating their mission, and becoming a business the world talks about.

Ton is a strategic product marketing expert with over thirty years of experience in the international enterprise software market. He's the host of the weekly Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission Podcast and global influencer on Entrepreneurship, Startups, Marketing, and Innovation.

Available For: Advising, Consulting, Speaking
Travels From: Alicante, Spain
Speaking Topics: Success strategies for B2B Software Businesses to stand out and fast-track growth

Speaking Fee $3,000

Personal Speaking Website: valueinspiration.com
Ton Dobbe Points
Academic 0
Author 899
Influencer 109
Speaker 30
Entrepreneur 10
Total 1048

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Featured Videos

Back to the Future - Plan your vision instead of from your present
October 27, 2021

Featured Topics

The Remarkable Effect

Remarkable is more than just a word. It’s a vision. It’s the art to create meaningful impact to impact prospects and customers. Being remarkable is something that I believe every software company can achieve. This keynote will give you the inspiration and insights into what it takes to shape a remarkable software business yourself.

Company Information

Company Type: Individual
Media Experience: 26 years
Last Media Training: 05/02/2016

Areas of Expertise

AI 34.01
Business Strategy 30.17
Cloud 30.32
Entrepreneurship 87.15
ERP 30.18
Innovation 53.16
Leadership 31.74
Marketing 66.44
Sales 41.08
Startups 100
Customer Experience 30.05
Culture 30.34
5G
Business Continuity
COVID19

Industry Experience

Engineering & Construction
Federal & Public Sector
Higher Education & Research
Professional Services

Publications

197 Article/Blogs
How to turn a market downturn into your tailwind in SaaS
Ton Dobbe
May 19, 2022
What can we do different to grow resilience in periods of crisis?

You might know I am writing my second book, themed “Remarkable Resilience,” and in essence, I aim to answer the key question: What are the secrets SaaS businesses leverage to not only bounce back from adversity but to come out stronger as a whole.

A big aspect of addressing this challenge is the question: How can we keep growing ARR momentum and more specifically: How to make a market downturn your tailwind? So this is what I’m addressing in this blog

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

#212 – John Hudson, CEO of Luma1 on making customers heroes
Ton Dobbe
April 27, 2022
A story about driving transformational change by sharing knowledge in different ways.

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to grow the success of every organization by enabling a fluid knowledge flow. My guest is John Hudson, CEO of Luma1

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

5 strategies to optimally position your B2B SaaS business
Ton Dobbe
April 21, 2022
In the past weeks I've contributed my posts to different ways of positioning. Today I bring it all together - 5 strategies to optimally position your B2B SaaS business

One thing you'll learn from reading this blog is that it all starts with recognizing what’s creating the traction problem in your business:

...Not getting enough of the right, high-quality leads is often not solved by throwing in yet another campaign

...Long sales cycles or low win rates are often not solved by throwing salespeople out and hiring new

...Challenging product adoption is often not the fault of the quality of your development department

More often than not it comes down to foundational problems – and weak product or brand positioning is one of them.

The second thing to embrace is that positioning is not about you, it’s about your ideal customer. It’s about taking position about what they deeply care about and how that helps to paint the right reference point in the mind of the prospect.

This is about empathy. About deeply understanding the problems that they perceive most valuable and critical to solving. Your positioning goldmine is hidden inside that knowledge.

Thirdly it’s about choosing your positioning angle:
︎ Position yourself around what your ideal customers stand for
︎ Position around what your ideal customers secretly want
︎ Position around the essence of the most valuable problem your customer wants to be solved
︎ Position around the values your customer embraces to stand out
︎ Or any combination of the above

And lastly, it’s about tuning for impact i.e. working on the key ingredients that make your positioning remarkable.

Strengthening your value foundation in this way is extremely valuable and brings numerous results. It's what underpins the SaaS businesses no one can ignore.

What if that was your SaaS business....?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

What’s stopping B2B SaaS companies from growing traction?
Ton Dobbe
March 15, 2022
I recently asked the question on Linkedin: What do you believe is the prime reason so many B2B SaaS startups fail? I mean, year after year, the statistics keep showing the depressing number that only 10% eventually succeeds, and 90% fail. VCs and Investors are actually calculating their odds on the back of this wisdom…

The #1 reason mentioned: the inability to gain enough traction in MRR and ARR in a given period.

It wasn’t a surprise. But unfortunately, for many of the B2B SaaS I work with, this is not their prime strength – in fact, it’s their weakness for many. So, in this blog, I want to dig deeper into some of the underlying factors that have a leverage effect on helping to create ‘enough’ traction and beat the benchmarks.

Leverage factor 1: Enough Product-Market fit
Leverage factor 2: Being clear which customer group(s) perceive the value of your solution 10x of that of alternatives (segmentation)
Leverage factor 3: Your ability to stand out in front of your ideal customer (positioning)
Leverage factor 4: Your ability to hit the right nerve (Messaging)
Leverage factor 5: Repeat – leverage your traction.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

How to avoid losing your edge in B2B SaaS?
Ton Dobbe
February 24, 2022
It hurts my heart when I see high-potential SaaS vendors slowly lose their edge.

I think we’ve all seen the examples. And you wonder: What happened? How could this have gone wrong?
That’s what I aim to explore with this blog.

Let’s start with my own experiences. I know there are many reasons where things can go south. One, however, what I’ve seen particularly hurtful is when a great idea pops up, and then, without even realizing it, we tone it down until it becomes mediocre…

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

And then, suddenly, ARR growth started to soften..
Ton Dobbe
February 08, 2022
Every week I speak with many saas-entrepreneurs from around the world.
Chit-chatting away, the answer to the question: “How’s business?” is usually ‘Good! We had the best year ever!’
Then the caveats come....

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

What’s your ability to attract customers that are prepared to pay a premium?
Ton Dobbe
January 27, 2022
Yesterday, we focused on this intriguing question in the CMO Mastermind pilot that I recently started. A fascinating discussion followed. And it struck my mind what dust this threw into the air.

First of all: All participants gave themselves a low rating. Honesty matters. It prompts me to raise the question: Why?

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Tags: Startups, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

Why many B2B SaaS businesses waste time, energy and money on creating content
Ton Dobbe
January 18, 2022
Last week I spoke with B2B SaaS Content expert Laura MacPherson and quickly, we concluded that it’s a waste to invest in content creation if the foundation isn’t solid.

What do I mean? To put it boldly: Without a solid foundation, your copy won’t deliver the quality leads you’re hoping for, nor will it help to increase sales or profit.

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Tags: Startups, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

Remarkable SaaS businesses mix curiousness with courage
Ton Dobbe | Value Inspiration
January 06, 2022
Some of the most brilliant tech-entrepreneurs I know share two things: They are both curious and courageous.

It gives them a firm edge.

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Tags: Startups, Leadership, Entrepreneurship

“To reach a goal you’ve never before attained, you must do things you’ve never before done”
Ton Dobbe
January 04, 2022
Avoid ever having to say ‘we wished we’d had the guts to do it, but now it’s too late.’

I believe curiosity is something to cherish in every aspect of a business software company. It’s critical at the start when you develop the big idea and make it a reality, but it’s possibly even more important as your business grows and evolves.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

What are the 3 levers for growth you bet on in 2022?
Ton Dobbe
December 23, 2021
Over the past months, I’ve had numerous conversations with tech-entrepreneurs on the topic of leverage. So let me highlight one critical question:

“My VCs asked me: ‘If we’d invest €4 million in your business – where would you focus this money to deliver the biggest multiplier?’

Although this seems a straightforward question, I realized that many CEOs running a B2B SaaS startup don’t have a clear answer.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

The challenge to break through that invisible growth ceiling
Ton Dobbe
December 21, 2021
It’s the time of year where we reflect and look back. Has the ambitious plan you betted on at the end of last year been delivered? Have you achieved the number of new customers you were so confident you’d get? Has your SaaS business achieved that magical MRR you had in mind?

Looking at the market, many SaaS businesses have grown. But was it enough in the mind of the founder? Even if they grew 30%, 50%, or even doubled, founders are often puzzled – cause they didn’t grow as expected. For another year, they hit that invisible growth ceiling.
Frustration is what’s left.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

“Are we creating enough traction fast enough…?”
Ton Dobbe
December 17, 2021
That constant itch for any B2B startup: Are we creating enough traction or not

In 2 weeks the year is behind us – again. It’s been yet another year that has been unlike any I can remember
Business-wise everything is still turned on its head.

But marketing-wise this is possibly the best thing that could have happened....

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

“How to go about demoing to a larger group – and increase your odds of winning?”
Ton Dobbe
December 16, 2021
It’s the exact question I recently received from a sales exec in one of the sales transformation workstreams that I run with B2B Saas Scaleups.

It’s a question I recognize a lot from my history at Unit4. The larger your prospects’ organization, the bigger the challenge gets.

But let’s address it. Just imagine – You’ve made it through several pre-selection rounds, and now is the moment for the final demo. You’re entering the room with a group of 5 people – the steering committee. They’re well prepared; they each have their own agenda and insist on exploring different parts of your system in detail.....

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

Struggling to get your SaaS gross-margins to top 70%?
Ton Dobbe
December 14, 2021
Bessemer Venture Partners recently published an insightful benchmark report, “Scaling to $100 Million.”

As the report states:

“Optimizing your costs and expenses is key to building a winning cloud company. In cloud, gross margins measure how effective companies are in delivering their software to customers, and they average 65-70% across company lifetimes.”
Now I completely agree with this – however, I’d like to address an area where I see a lot of SaaS companies negatively impact their margin: The quality of their revenue.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

“We’re doing great….”
Ton Dobbe
December 10, 2021
How often do you hear this when you ask people: “How’s business?”
I heard it 4 times at least this week. It’s almost the default thing people respond with.

And I think you agree with me that pretty often the situation is different – and we’re avoiding an important discussion.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

Unclear positioning – the negative effects no one realizes
Ton Dobbe
December 09, 2021
“How can I reduce the waste in my sales pipeline?”

It’s a question I received this week – and there are likely many answers to it.

One area I’d certainly look at is how you position your SaaS business.

Positioning is an art: Getting it right is magic. Unfortunately, getting it wrong is costly.

The most obvious areas where unclear positioning hurts are lengthy sales cycles, low win rates, and the need to give a lot of discounts.

But there are plenty of effects we don’t recognize easily – and these become silent killers of our business. Here’s just a few of them....

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

B2B SaaS marketing can be human too
Ton Dobbe
December 07, 2021
As I watched the Heineken ad “Men drink cocktails too” yesterday evening, it struck me how often we have a perception about the world that’s just wrong: Men drink beer, women drink cocktails. Duh….?!

If I apply this to the B2B SaaS domain that I am working in every day, the same thing applies: B2C marketing should feel human, B2B marketing should feel serious. Seriously?!

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Five habits that prevent your SaaS business from creating momentum
Ton Dobbe
December 03, 2021
I just had to write a post about this.

It drives me nuts how potentially great business software companies purposely limit their potential and don’t even realize it.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

On a scale of 1 to 10….
Ton Dobbe
December 02, 2021
I have a question for you worth reflecting upon:
How does your SaaS business score on its ability to surprise and hit the right nerve with key decision-makers?

It takes guts to answer it – and consequently, we’re ignoring it. So instead, we tell ourselves the story ‘we’re doing OK’ – that ‘our segmentation is sharp and our messaging clear’ (enough).

Still, I instantly reveal stories about slow sales cycles, poor win rates, and decreasing deal value when I dig into this question with the B2B software professionals I work with.

So who’s fooling who?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Lowering your price….
Ton Dobbe
November 30, 2021
The madness of Black Friday is just behind us – and now we’re entering the final month of the quarter – and for many, the last month of the Fiscal Year. It’s that month where – especially in B2B software – the pressure is on. It’s that month that could make or break the year.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about this already: “Will they buy?” Honestly – looking at your own SaaS pipeline – how many of the prospects you managed at that point are still undecided – not showing any urgency to move? So the question remains: “Will they buy?” Will they?

As time runs out – so do our options to end the year with a bang. And that typically leads to one thing: Lowering our prices.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

The cost of focusing on the wrong customers
Ton Dobbe
November 25, 2021
“What are your key takeaways from the 9-week workstream we’ve just finished?” I asked the entire sales team of one of my clients on Tuesday.

An instant answer that came out from the Sales Director was eye-opening:
“How important it is on who we are for, and possibly more important….who we are not for. When we started nine weeks ago with the first prompt, I took it to our leadership team, where we discussed it deeply. Why? Because we, as the leadership team, influence this. It starts with us.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

“We have spent a lot of time telling our customers on our solution. We want to spend more time focusing on their problem”
Ton Dobbe
November 23, 2021
Last week I ‘Zoomed’ with Ryan Falkenberg and Mark Pedersen, the two founders of Clevva (Capetown, South Africa). Our conversation dug into the big lessons they learned from reading my book, The Remarkable Effect.

Ryan – “We’ve both read it, and the key messages that we have really taken to heart is: Lead with the problem, not the solution.”

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

“What characterizes the SaaS demos that accelerate the sales process?”
Ton Dobbe
November 18, 2021
What characterizes the demos that accelerate the sales process? Here’s my summary of the top 10 aspects I’ve seen do their magic the past weeks

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

“No one perceives our solution as mission-critical…”
Ton Dobbe
November 16, 2021
This perception is one of the primary reasons SaaS sales cycles are slow: Your solution is considered a nice-to-have, not mission-critical.
And obviously, this can be the case – however…., in 9 out of 10, this it’s something you have total control over.

As the headline suggests: It’s a “perception.”
It’s the story your prospects tell themselves.

Why? Because you haven’t convinced them in clear terms why it IS mission-critical.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

“How do I take our existing vision and mission and make it ingrained in our company?”
Ton Dobbe
November 11, 2021
The story started last week as we began a new monthly theme in the Mastermind program I run with SaaS CEOs from around the world: ‘Remarkable software companies Sell the Idea, Not the Product.’

Next, every member declared a mini project that connects to one of their top priorities. This sets them up for making tangible progress – and work ‘On’ the business.

There’s one I’d like to highlight since it addresses a challenge I see many SaaS companies struggle with: “How do I take our existing vision and mission and make it ingrained in our company?”

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

What are actually the habits of companies that build remarkable software?
Ton Dobbe
November 09, 2021
Friday, I had an entertaining catch-up call with my dear ex-colleague Christian Weichelt. We came to talk about the power of habits. His mantra: “Don’t control the output; control the inputs.”

By controlling the inputs, you establish habits – and with that, you move closer to your goals every day. It’s a simple but super powerful concept.

For example, I’ve promised myself for months to get on my spinning bike for 30 minutes at the end of my day and failed….until I decided it was going to be the first thing I’d do when I get out of bed every morning. Today it shows a 200-day streak – and a much fitter me is the result.

So, I reflected on this – and wondered, ‘What are the habits of companies that build the software products we keep talking about?”

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

The damage we create by talking only about ‘us’
Ton Dobbe
November 04, 2021
Earlier this week, I received an email from Inside AI, which triggered me to visit a couple of websites from B2B SaaS vendors.

It struck me how often sentences start with ‘We ….this’, ‘[Name company]…that’. “Our solution offers…”

Now I get how this – we have to explain what we do, sure.
But think about it: who’s your website for? And what is it for?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

The damage we create by talking only about ‘us'
Value Inspiration
November 04, 2021
Earlier this week, I received an email from Inside AI, which triggered me to visit a couple of websites from B2B SaaS vendors. It struck me how often sentences start with ‘We ….this’, ‘[Name company]…that’. “Our solution offers…”

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Tags: Customer Experience, Startups, Marketing

Will enough prospects buy from you in the next 8 weeks?
Ton Dobbe
November 02, 2021
We’re four weeks into Q4 2021. It’s the time of the year that determines whether it’s been a success or not. Some software companies I talk to proudly tell me they are well ahead of target. Others have concerns – they still have to bridge a significant gap in the coming eight weeks…

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

In order to stand out, we have to know what we stand for.
Ton Dobbe
October 28, 2021
I love this quote from Simon Sinek! There's so much truth in it.
Most business software companies I see get into unnecessary trouble just because of this.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

What does it take to outperform the market in crisis time?
Ton Dobbe
October 26, 2021
Last week Interbrand revealed its annual study on the best brands in 2021.

The fastest risers significantly outperformed other brands on three factors: Direction, Agility, Participation.....

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

People don't care about your product. They care about how it changes their status
Ton Dobbe
October 21, 2021
I reflected on some recent conversations with B2B Software sales and marketing executives during the workshops I led the past weeks. The red thread throughout the talks was 'creating momentum in the sales cycle.'

Many ingredients influence this, but one thing that always stands out is "the people aspect." It's about making the right people buy from us.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Scaling as a SaaS business: How to go about the S of Service?
Ton Dobbe
October 19, 2021
This month, there've been multiple conversations in the CEO Masterminds I run about the second S in SaaS: the S of Service. The essence of the discussions: How to go about Service (Delivery) to accelerate growth, not inhibit it.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

We too often end up putting our hopes on Q4 to make up for the year – because our segmentation is off
Ton Dobbe
October 14, 2021
“Our Total Addressable Market is huge. Demand in our category is pounding. Marketing is bringing in enough leads…. but still, momentum stays out – and all our hope is now on Q4 to make up for what was supposed to be a record year.”

I heard this story several times the past week – from different tech-entrepreneurs, in varying contexts, acting in different markets.
I feel for them—the puzzling in their eyes…

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

What will you show someone who just ‘showed interest’ in your SaaS solution? Wrong question
Ton Dobbe
October 12, 2021
Monday morning, you open your iPad, fire up your email, and there they come – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,…12 “leads” from your website.

Since time is crucial, the next thing you do is inform the Sales team: “Hey, here are 12 new requests from our website, people interested in our products.” Before you know it, they’re on the phone, making appointments to schedule a demo.

It’s a familiar story I hear a lot. And not because it’s so working so well.
It’s not, to be fair.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

Who needs a proof of concept?
Ton Dobbe
October 07, 2021
The past week I had several conversations about the good and the bad of ‘Proof of Concepts (PoCs).’

PoC’s have their place and are hard to avoid unless you have grown beyond a certain threshold – for example, younger startups with zero references.

But beyond that, to me, Proof of Concept is an excuse.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

Are we worth it?
Ton Dobbe
October 05, 2021
It's a question many customers ask themselves without saying it out loud.
It's a conversation with themselves where they're tossing priorities and trying to find the arguments to feel good about a decision they are about to make.

Imagine one of your customers.
They realize they have challenges in their sales performance.
Month after month, they're missing their targets.
Something needs to happen, so they research the market, connect with several SaaS vendors that they believe could solve their problem.

After a couple of weeks of meetings, discovery calls, and demos, they create their shortlist. And your solution is on it.

The big question is - will they make a bet on your solution and pull the trigger to buy from you?
Have you been able to persuade them enough?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

To gain trust, tell them what they need to hear…, not what they want to hear…
Ton Dobbe
September 30, 2021
Over the past weeks, I had several conversations about what builds trust in Sales and what kills it?
One aspect that deserves a spotlight is our posture in the sales cycle. How does our potential customer see us?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

“It feels like we’re selling with wind force 9 headwind”
Ton Dobbe
September 28, 2021
“This is what it feels like in the market we’re operating,” one of my clients recently shared with me.

I loved the metaphor – So visceral – and so real.

The SaaS product her company is selling is introducing a transformation in the manufacturing industry.
It’s shifting the powers from top-down to bottom-up, thereby eliminating some of the big constraints that have held these companies back for years.

And that’s precisely where the source of the friction lies.
There are two camps: Companies that love to control the shop-floor. And Companies that believe in the power of empowering the shop-floor.

Functionality-wise they want the same.
That’s not what the friction is about.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

What builds trust in B2B Sales, and what kills it?
Ton Dobbe
September 23, 2021
One of the things that kept me thinking over the past days was a discussion we had last week in a Sales Pitch Battle workshop I led.
It all began after seeing the 3rd pitch. One of the participants gave the following feedback to her colleague: "You came across as trustworthy."

She was right. The trust was heartfelt.
We never say this to people - but feel it when it's there (or not)
Trust is a critical component for success.
Without it, you better qualify out since the chances of winning are slim.

But what creates trust?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

"You had me from the start"
Ton Dobbe
September 21, 2021
This was the instant remark from one to another participant in a Sales Pitch Battle I ran last Friday. It's one of the biggest compliments you can get in sales. Here's why.

When customers are actively searching for a solution to solve one of their problems, most of the time, they won't invite you only. They perform their research, make a long list, and invite various software vendors to present their case. And as such, you're not alone. You have to compete. And with that, the best position is 'pole position.'

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

“Competitors are gaining momentum, copying us and undercutting us in price”
Ton Dobbe
September 18, 2021
I overheard three conversations last week that touched upon this subject. It reminded me of similar conversations I had in the past at Unit4. And almost always, it was sending the wrong signal.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Working ON the business, instead of IN the business
Ton Dobbe
September 16, 2021
One challenge consistently shared with me by the tech-entrepreneurs I work with is this: their challenge to focus enough time working ON their business. Many feel trapped in the daily rut and putting out fires.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

The feeling when it magically clicks with a customer
Ton Dobbe
September 14, 2021
I guess (or at least I hope) many of you will know what I am talking about. You’re coming out of a meeting with a customer, and you know the deal is in your pocket.

You could feel the magic spark during the meeting. Momentum built – ‘yes, but…’ turned into ‘yes, and…’ The feeling is just right.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

What’s the gift you’re bringing to your customers?
Ton Dobbe
September 12, 2021
Isn’t this a great way to think about what you offer?

Isn’t this what business software is all about?

No matter which software company I work with, no matter which tech-entrepreneur I interview on my podcast – at the end, what creates the energy is ‘the gift’ – the positive change we will experience as a consequence of working with you.

The funny thing is: We often forget to talk about it.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Money is story
Ton Dobbe
September 10, 2021
I have had several conversations this week about SaaS pricing. It’s the most prominent conversation to have as a next step in the process of clarifying your value proposition.

I mean, if you’ve sharpened everything from who you’re ideally for (segmentation), to your positioning, to your unique story of value, then very likely you’ve created an opportunity to adjust pricing as well.

The big question is: What determines the price?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

What we can learn from Big Wave surfing in Business Software
Ton Dobbe
September 08, 2021
There’s one place in the world for which I am prepared to drop everything, to be there on the right day: Nazare, Portugal.

It’s THE big wave surfing spot in the world. There’s nothing like it. And it’s precisely that setting that we can learn a lot from in business software.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

You offered a massive cost-saving, and still lost the deal
Ton Dobbe
September 03, 2021
In a recent conversation I had with one of the tech-entrepreneurs in my tribe, she mentioned a sales situation where her SaaS solution guaranteed a >€750.000 cost-saving, but it wasn’t enough to get the deal across the line. And although this might sound weird – it’s not strange.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

When discount starts to feel like your only weapon
Ton Dobbe
August 28, 2021
It’s such a familiar picture. Your SaaS product is sound. Gartner’s reports showcase there’s a market for it. Looking at the number of downloads of your lead magnets, there seems to be genuine interest. Still – every deal your sales team is involved in feels like fighting a battle to convert.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

“That’s a huge statement”
Ton Dobbe
August 25, 2021
This weekend I was watching a Dutch television program about transforming ordinary houses into dream places to live. At a given moment, the new kitchen was showcased – created of one of the same material. “That’s a huge statement,” the interviewer responded.

It was. It was a massive statement. It stood out in so many ways. That instant feeling of simplicity, quality, warmth,….

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

“We’re all ghostbusters"
Ton Dobbe
August 23, 2021
We’ve all had the question: What business are you in?

In my experience, nine out of ten SaaS businesses get the answer to this question wrong. And that’s a massive opportunity if you fix it.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

When creating a sense urgency feels right and when it feels wrong…
Ton Dobbe
August 17, 2021
I often get emails that rub me the wrong way in the way they aim to create a sense of urgency. I am not sure about you, but the typical ‘Your 40% discount offer ends tonight’ goes directly to the dust bin when I see it. I am the last one to say creating a sense of urgency is not what you should do.

Creating tension is critical to initiating action. Without tension, people don’t move, and businesses don’t make decisions.

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Forget the word ‘Demo’, replace it with ‘Proof of Value’
Ton Dobbe
July 23, 2021
If you want to accelerate SaaS sales, doing “a demo” is not the answer.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Value Proposition that Works
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June 17, 2021
When you run a software company, you know its ins and outs; you also know how the products and services [...]
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What business are you in, no, what business are you really in?
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June 15, 2021
In the past year, the realities and challenges of your customers have dramatically changed. And many of us have felt [...]
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It’s astonishing how we get blind for the ‘habits’ that prevent success
Value Inspiration
May 18, 2021
It drives me nuts how high potential business software companies purposely limit their potential and don't even realize it.


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Not everything that’s countable counts and not everything that counts is countable
Value Inspiration
April 27, 2021
One company that I’ve come to respect for the latter is Qualtrics

Qualtrics masters the art of hitting the right nerve of their ideal customers. And that’s where they score.

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The problem is not the problem
Value Inspiration
April 22, 2021
A common challenge I see many B2B SaaS companies struggle with is this:
The “problems” we think we address in marketing and sales are far from the actual problem.

There are 100s of examples
‘You’re not in control.’
‘You’re not efficient enough.’
‘You haven’t got enough insights’
‘You’re too busy with administrative tasks’
‘You don’t have access to real-time data.’
‘You’re not able to be pro-active.’
And so on….

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Focusing on the wants, not just the needs, boosts resilience
Value Inspiration
April 16, 2021
Let's look at Airbnb – a company that operates in an industry that's severely hit by the pandemic.
But what everyone might think would happen didn't. Airbnb came out stronger. It adjusted its course but is still very much the company we know and love (maybe even more now), and even announced its IPO recently. That speaks volumes of confidence.

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Sometimes your purpose can be the answer to surviving a crisis
Value Inspiration
April 14, 2021
If we think about the industry most hit by the pandemic the past eight months, it’s Travel – hands down.

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Wake your employees and clients up at 3 AM. Can they repeat your brand message?
Value Inspiration
April 09, 2021
I'm going to guess: Probably not.

That's a missed opportunity.

As the saying goes: Ideas that are repeated change the world.
The big question: How?

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Ideas that are repeated change the world – but how?
Value Inspiration
February 24, 2021
It's true, big ideas catch you, but it's not enough. The best ones are sticky, memorable, and repeatable – This makes them get shared without asking.

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Founding your software company is one thing, creating and accelerating its momentum is something else.
Value Inspiration
February 09, 2021
It’s hard. And cracking the code is not a one-off endeavor either.

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Getting attention from the right customers is not achieved by shouting louder, but by resonating better.
Value Inspiration
February 03, 2021
But what does that mean: to resonate better? You’ll know when: They say ‘You get me. It feels like you..

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“Yes, but your competitor does this as well…’
Value Inspiration
February 01, 2021
It’s a phrase that frustrates so many entrepreneurs in the B2B software space. Your software solution is perceived the same as all the others.

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Why your customers continue to see your software product as a cost of doing business rather than an investment.
Value Inspiration
January 14, 2021
In every business, there are things we need and things we want. There's nothing special about that – until your software product is the subject of choice.

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The magic moment your competitor qualifies out when they know you’re in
Value Inspiration
December 15, 2020
The enterprise software space characterizes itself by fierce competition: big players with big budgets who are not shy to ‘buy the customer’ with bags of tricks.

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It's fascinating what happens when like-minded people start working together.
Value Inspiration
December 09, 2020
I've been running my business for three years, and looking back, I can only conclude I've grown in so many ways. There's one thing, however, that has become evident to me: You can't please everyone. And that realization has brought me so much.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

Inspirations only become valuable if we reflect on it
Value Inspiration
December 05, 2020
I had a fantastic week of holiday last week. Unplugged my MacBook, removed social apps, and email from my phone and just went with the flow of a typical day in Spain. And then it just happened – new ideas kept flowing in—one after the other.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

Selling the idea (not the product) unlocks the money
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December 01, 2020
In my post from yesterday, I already mentioned that by selling the idea (not the product), you’re opening your customers’ [...]
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Are we telling ourselves fairytales about software deals in our pipeline? 
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November 26, 2020
“It’s normal enterprise software projects in this vertical take 9-12 months to close.” “We haven’t lost the deal; they are [...]
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Remarkable software businesses sell the idea, not the product
Value Inspiration
November 20, 2020
In the slipstream of publishing my first book in February this year, I also started an online tribe for tech-entrepreneurs-on-a-mission. The tribe is all about the journey to become a remarkable software business. Every month we explore a different theme, or better, a different trait– and for November, it’s: “Remarkable software businesses sell the idea, not the product.”

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Many people say they drive change, only few do it for real
Value Inspiration
November 12, 2020
The word ‘Change’ has been a red line throughout my career. Growing up as the son of a Tulip farmer my aspiration was always bigger than a career in tulips alone. Unconsciously I was out there to help create something bigger than myself. And the software industry fascinated me, merely because of the impact I believed it could have on people, business and society at large.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

We think we are clear about our ideal client – but are we?
Value Inspiration
November 04, 2020
This week I reviewed several competed Remarkable Index assessments (an online assessment to reveal the truth about where you stand in relation to the 10 traits that define a remarkable software business). It struck me how easily we believe we are ‘clear’ about our ideal client – while various signs tell us we’re not.

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If you have something truly unique, it’s often hard to explain to people what you are doing.
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October 29, 2020
It’s a quote from Peter Thiel that I picked up in a blog Charles Thiede, CEO of Zapnito recently shared [...]
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Differentiation Vs Making A Difference
Value Inspiration
October 22, 2020
Every time I speak with tech entrepreneurs around ‘differentiation,’ the conversation goes towards ‘the competition.’ “Here’s how we are different from competitor X or Y.” Sometimes, it’s even spelled out on their websites, but we often address it in conversations with customers. But what if we’d start to talk about it in terms of “Here’s how we make the difference for you” and forget about ‘the competition’ altogether?

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Educating the market about new technology categories – do we have to, to be successful?
Value Inspiration
October 01, 2020
Last week I interviewed a tech-entrepreneur about the key learnings of bringing transformative solutions to market. He made one argument: ‘We were challenged with growing momentum because the market was not aware or informed well enough about the category we are in.’ My immediate reaction was: Do they need to be?

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What makes your software business "Uncommon"?
Value Inspiration
September 24, 2020
There are too many average software products and companies – don’t you agree? Open a webpage randomly of similar products – from the strong brands and the lesser-known vendors – then hide the logo and try telling which vendor you are dealing with. Impossible. Everybody seems to sound and feel the same – whether on purpose or not.

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The hidden value in losing 8 out of 10 enterprise software deals
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September 18, 2020
The conversation often stops when I ask the simple question: What’s your average win-rate. You can feel things getting uncomfortable. [...]
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‘Relatability’
Value Inspiration
September 11, 2020
Summary: How can we make our communication more ‘relatable’ so that it’s understood, felt, creates a connection, and a reaction?

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Most business software demos work counter-productive to close the deal
Value Inspiration
September 03, 2020
I witnessed a business software demo again last week, and it struck me what opportunity we are losing by the way we show our crown jewels. So I wondered: What if we’d stop the ‘harbor tours’ and start focusing on solving real problems.

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How easy is it for your competitors to copy your position of advantage?
Value Inspiration
August 28, 2020
According to Get2Growth.com, every year, 1.35 million tech-startups open their doors. A massive number, and as such, no shortage of good ideas. Most of them start to solve a significant problem, a problem that’s both valuable and critical to their target audience. If they succeed, the value will come their way. And here’s where big challenges arrise.

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Inspirations only become valuable if we reflect on it
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August 22, 2020
I had a fantastic week of holiday last week. Unplugged my MacBook, removed social apps, and email from my phone [...]
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Imagine shortening your sales cycle by 50% while keeping your price level at 100%
Value Inspiration
July 30, 2020
Throughout my career in B2B software sales, I’ve been intrigued by the fact how some sales processes took 12-18 months to close, while other deals closed in weeks. And this had nothing to do with the dynamics of different verticals (for example the Government being perceived slow’) or selling a different product. I’ve seen this often in the same vertical, with organizations of the same size, selling the same product.

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Why prospects that chose your competitor are right
Value Inspiration
July 15, 2020
It could drive me nuts in the past: losing deals. I remember being heavily involved in an Enterprise Software deal with an international Not-for-Profit organization in Denmark. We did everything right. Functionality fitted like a glove. We even got a round of applause during and after the presentation and demos we did. We still lost.

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The energy we get when someone removes our blind-spots.
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July 02, 2020
We all know the saying, “We can’t see the wood for the trees.” It means that a person or organization [...]
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Value you can’t get from subordinates, only from peers.
Value Inspiration
June 24, 2020
Navigating the future of your business software company is both fun and complex. It’s often a journey without a map because you’re on a mission to make change happen – transform the way business is done. And as such – you have to plot that map yourself.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

What are your targeted investments in your customers’ future value?
Value Inspiration
June 11, 2020
Through the tribe I am establishing, I speak with a lot of tech-entrepreneurs every week around the magic that happens when you deliver solutions people find worth making a remark about.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

The magic of getting to your first 100 customers
Value Inspiration
June 04, 2020
Every new software business has to face the critical phase of market validation. You’ve started your business around a big idea that solves a problem that matters, and now you have to prove it.

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Elegantly simple – a recipe for success
Value Inspiration
May 28, 2020
I guess we all experience it: You ask a simple question and get a lengthy answer. Lengthy answers normally don’t stand out in clarity – rather the opposite.

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We are here to make change happen. Meaningful change
Value Inspiration
May 20, 2020
The past weeks we’ve all experienced a period of change we fear. Change we didn’t want. Change we didn’t ask for. Change we try to hide and close our eyes from. But it has also been a period in which we experienced change we’ve come to love and value: The connections; the experience of embracing new ways of working; The innovations that positively surprised us.

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Customers that want to do more, not less business with you
Value Inspiration
May 15, 2020
There are so many valuable lessons to take from the past eight weeks. One thing that caught me was that some businesses not only survived but thrived because customers wanted to do more business with them, not less. The golden question: Why?

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What’s next?
Value Inspiration
May 08, 2020
Looking at the past eight weeks is like looking at a time-lapse movie. What used to take years to change, now changed in a fortnight – for our customers, our suppliers, us, everyone. It’s not over, but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Therefore the question many of us ponder with is: What’s next?

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Tips for Tech CEOs to grow their business in uncertain times – Part 7: Free up resources to lay the groundwork for your next big thing
Value Inspiration
May 01, 2020
This is the seventh in a series of short inspirations to help tech-entrepreneurs weather the uncertain times and come out stronger as a consequence.

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Tags: Innovation, Leadership, Entrepreneurship

Tips for Tech CEOs to grow their business in uncertain times – Part 6: Prioritize the long-term nature of your relationships
Value Inspiration
April 28, 2020
This is the sixth in a series of short inspirations to help tech-entrepreneurs weather the uncertain times and come out stronger as a consequence.

In the previous posts, we’ve discussed five core criteria to make an impact in uncertain times: Sniper focused segmentation and positioning, a strong ability to cut through the noise, making your offer a no-brainer, and last but not least doing the unexpected, i.e., surprise.

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Falling in love with your (own) product
Value Inspiration
April 23, 2020
It all started with a simple question to tech-entrepreneurs on my tribe: “What % of your customers are advocates?” That simple question triggered a passionate reaction that will unlock a lot of value.

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Tips for Tech CEOs to grow their business in uncertain times – Part 5: Surprise
Value Inspiration
April 16, 2020
This is the fifth in a series of short inspirations to help tech-entrepreneurs weather the uncertain times and come out stronger as a consequence.

In the previous posts, we’ve discussed four core criteria to make an impact in uncertain times: Sniper

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Tips for Tech CEOs to grow their business in uncertain times – Part 4: They make their offer a no-brainer
Value Inspiration
April 09, 2020
This is the fourth in a series of short inspirations to help tech-entrepreneurs weather the uncertain times and come out stronger as a consequence.

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Tips for Tech CEOs to grow their business in uncertain times – Part 3: Cut through the noise
Value Inspiration
April 07, 2020
This is the third in a series of short inspirations to help tech-entrepreneurs weather the uncertain times and come out stronger as a consequence.

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Making a difference more often
Value Inspiration
April 02, 2020
It’s inspiring what can happen when things get tough. Suddenly we have a far sharper eye and willingness to make a difference. We see things we haven’t seen or bothered about before, and act on them with effect.

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Tips for Tech CEOs to grow their business in uncertain times – Part 2: Sniper focused positioning
Value Inspiration
March 27, 2020
This is the second in a series of short inspirations to help tech-entrepreneurs weather the uncertain times and come out stronger as a consequence. Part one was about Sniper focused segmentation

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Tips for Tech CEOs to grow their business in uncertain times
Value Inspiration
March 25, 2020
This is the first in a series of short inspirations to help tech-entrepreneurs weather the uncertain times and come out stronger as a consequence.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

Making customers part of something they want to belong to
Value Inspiration
March 20, 2020
We all know the feeling – when we’re amongst like-minded people, something magic happens. There’s energy; we are engaged, you can smell the opportunity ‘in the air.’ Deep in our soul, we know we are part of something special, where we’re able to find the answers to our unique challenges and on a path to do something larger than ourselves. It’s the power behind the world’s most prosperous communities – they create a strong sense of belonging.

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A helpful conversation
Value Inspiration
March 18, 2020
Early January I joined ‘The Right Company’, an online community hosted by Bernadette Jiwa who I’d like to refer to as ‘the Female Seth Godin’. In 2019 I experienced the true power of online communities as it provides you with so many new insights, ways to test your ideas, get generous feedback and simply level up.

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Being optimally prepared for external influences
Value Inspiration
March 11, 2020
No matter where you are, what you look at or what you open – the Corona Virus is likely the topic of discussion. Fear has created a global that’s traveling faster than the virus itself.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

What are you for and what are you against?
Value Inspiration
March 06, 2020
When Salesforce launched around the year 2000 it was pretty clear what they were for and what they were against. The ‘No software’ sign said it all. There was no guessing what they meant and what they stood for.

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What opportunity do you give people to talk about you
Value Inspiration
March 04, 2020
A couple of months ago I was in Leuven, Belgium. After a day of working with the team of my customer it was time to pack my bags and head to the train. My plane was leaving in less than 2 hours from Zaventem Airport. “Let me drive you to the station” their CEO said. We walked down the stairs to the garage and there he proudly opened the doors of his Tesla Model S. “It’s a fantastic machine” he said. “You won’t believe it.”

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Who are you not for?
Value Inspiration
February 27, 2020
Value Proposition‘It’s so flexible – I can do anything with it!’

‘It’s so flexible – I am often lost – I wish it were more standardized.’

Two typical but radically different answers we got from interviewing customers in a repositioning project for one of our flagship products back in 2005. They were all customers from the same industry, of the same size and the same country. It drove us nuts.

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Why are we prepared to pay a premium for one product, and not for the other
Value Inspiration
February 21, 2020
It caught me yesterday evening how many Apple products I see around me. As I walked through my house, they seem to be were everywhere: iPhones, Ipads, the iMac in my living room, the Macbook on my desk. I am pretty sure many of you recognize this.

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How do your customers want to feel?
Value Inspiration
February 19, 2020
I was on the phone with a customer of one of my customers. A very pleasant conversation that revealed a lot of information about their business and what set them apart from the rest. They’re selling building materials – loads of them – to boutique-sized constructors, and very large building corporations. It’s a commodity business, and their customers have many alternative options.

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The courage to not do things
Value Inspiration
February 14, 2020
Earlier this week, on Tuesday morning, I publshied a new podcast episode with Jonathan Mall, CEO of Neuro-Flash. When I asked him ‘What do you believe is the secret to creating a remarkable software business?’ he answered this: ‘Having the courage to not do things.’
So powerful, so true and so well-articulated. Isn’t it strange many people need the courage to actually do things? This is exactly the opposite – but possibly even harder, but more impactful.

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Changing the norm
Value Inspiration
February 12, 2020
It was a beautiful day in May 2016. My train had just arrived at Gard du Nord station in the middle of Paris. As I headed towards the exit I hailed my first ever Uber ride.
The moment I walked out of the train station, I realized the taxi was already arriving, and the moment I reached the agreed spot, it stopped, and the trunk opened.

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Control what you can control – be Remarkable there
Value Inspiration
February 07, 2020
I recently listened to the IdeoU podcast with Roger Martin, author of the book “Playing to Win” and he addressed a topic that seems a no-brainer, but honestly, it’s not: Control what you can control.

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Inviting your customers into a vision of possibility
Value Inspiration
February 05, 2020
This Monday I had an appointment with my garage to change the two rear tires of my car. I had to ‘just show up at 4PM. It would only take 30 minutes.’

The garage is not the closest one to my house. Not the cheapest one either. But it’s the garage I trust. Every time there’s an issue they fix it – at the agreed time, in the agreed time. It’s simply convenient. That matters to me.

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The difference between being different and creating a difference
Value Inspiration
January 31, 2020
The term USP (Unique Selling Point) in marketing is common – it’s been used for decades. But what’s striking about it is that too often we use it to describe our advantage over the competition: “Don’t buy them, buy us, because this is what makes us different [compared to them].” The question is: Who cares?

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The momentum that unlocks when multiple forces join
Value Inspiration
January 29, 2020
About 1.5 weeks ago the east coast of Spain was subject to the heaviest storms in the past 13 years. Since I am a big surf fan we drove to the boulevard here in Javea before lunch to see how the swell was developing. The wind was picking up, the temperature chilly, but there were still many surfers out at Arenal beach enjoying a 1.5m shore break.

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One thing your customers will come back for
Value Inspiration
January 24, 2020
A couple of weeks ago I was in Birmingham for a workshop. The day ended, and I my inner voice started to talk ‘food’. Everyone who knows me well gets where this is going: Thai-food. So, I asked Google for a recommendation and went started walking.

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Software businesses exist to advance something
Value Inspiration
January 22, 2020
Last weekend I drove around the Valencia region in my new 40-year old Defender.
It’s clear what they grow here: oranges. There are orange trees as far as you can see. They’ve been here for decades, possibly even centuries. And it looks like time has stand still: Maintenance and harvesting is often done by hand.

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Defending sunk cost vs making new bets
Value Inspiration
January 15, 2020
In my day to day work with business software vendors one of the dilemma’s I see complicating decisions is the path we’ve already chosen – often a long time ago.

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‘Top of mind’ is not the same as ‘close to heart’
Value Inspiration
January 09, 2020
The last week of 2019 I’ve been working on a project in which I assessed two Industry marketing approaches. And while I immersed myself in the material and browsed through the content like a visitor, I realized that talking the language of the vertical is about so much more than just using some words that are common in that vertical. Too me it felt the sites I visited were merely there to put a stake in the ground and say: ‘We’re here! Come and check us out!’ It didn’t work. There was no click, so I didn’t click.

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How do you want to make your customers feel?
Value Inspiration
December 18, 2019
I remember the story of one of our engineering customers at Unit4. We’d invited their CIO to speak at an analyst event in Boston, and we were lucky enough we decided to record that speech. It became one of the most useful asset to teach our salespeople what they were actually selling. So, every time I showed the video, as the story unfolded, many facts went by about the size and dynamics of their business, the projects they were doing, and the challenges they faced on a day to day basis. But if you’d listen carefully, one single word would stick: “Confidence.”

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Do you have a scale problem?
Value Inspiration
December 11, 2019
It was Tuesday the 11th October 2005. I was at the Unit4 corporate HQ in the Netherlands – the company I had started my career 14 years before. I had just been promoted to head up global product marketing and management and sat at my desk preparing for an analyst briefing call with Predrag Jakovljevic (PJ) from Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC). He is a man who holds a great deal of power in our industry and as such influences many buying decisions. I couldn’t leave anything to chance. It was an important call. I was prepared when the phone rang….

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When your competitor has an inferior product,… but still wins
Value Inspiration
December 04, 2019
Imagine it’s the end of the quarter, you still have three prospects to get across the line to make your target. You review your notes one more time, mentally prepare your top argument, find your contact on your phone, and hit the call button….

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Until we are cash positive…
Value Inspiration
November 27, 2019
It was Thursday evening last week. I was still reading one of the many books I bought over the last months – Story Driven, by Bernadette Jiwa. The chapter I read was about Alibaba – the world’s largest online commerce company. It told the story of Alibaba – how it got started, its values, its purpose and vision and finally its strategy points. I flipped the page and then one of Alibaba’s strategy points struck me: ‘Build a loyal customer base based on word-of-mouth marketing until we are cash positive.’

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What happens when you change the way people see things
Value Inspiration
November 20, 2019
Hundreds of thousands of things pass us on a day to day basis without even noticing. We don’t notice because our experience tells us it’s normal, it’s how things behave or how it’s supposed to be. It’s true for our private lives as well as for our business lives. We start noticing things when they are outside our pattern of expectation. It’s the unusual that makes us stop, pay attention, and think. That’s the magic moment in marketing and sales: The ability to shift the frame of reference – the ability to change the way people see things.

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The power behind rating your very own business software company.
Value Inspiration
November 13, 2019
Last week I did a keynote and workshop with around 25 tech-entrepreneurs at Servoy World in Amsterdam. The core theme: The Future is Bright. Yes it is, but it all obviously all depends what you do with it. So, in order to get a meaningful discussion going I focused my keynote around five basic but critical questions every tech-entrepreneur should ask themselves and score themselves on.

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How much value gets lost because we’re not clear enough in our messaging?
Value Inspiration
November 06, 2019
It’s a question I’ve been pondering with this week on my quest to help my customers create remarkable impact. And to answer it: We’ll likely never know; however, I think we can all agree: More than we can bear. So it’s something to be very alert on. Challenging our work on pure ‘clarity’ pays off in many ways – not only in Marketing.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Instead of solving the first problem, solve the real problem
Value Inspiration
October 30, 2019
There hasn’t a week gone by the past months where I didn’t have a lively discussion with my customers about ‘what’s the real problem you think you are solving’. You might think ‘so what?!’ but believe me – getting this 100% clear makes our lives in marketing, sales and product development so much easier – and more importantly, the value for our customers so much bigger.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

The magic that unlocks by becoming resourceful
Value Inspiration
October 24, 2019
It’s the time of the year again where budgets are made – and that’s always a moment to ‘ask for more’. We go by the assumption that the business needs to grow, therefor our teams needs to grow. It’s what I experienced many times in the annual budget process at Unit4, and it’s what I sense as something pretty common with the clients I work with these days. There never seem to be way we can free-up resource or create leverage. But why? And more importantly: Imagine if we could?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

How clear positioning makes everything gets easier
Value Inspiration
October 17, 2019
In the past weeks, I have done quite a bit of work assessing +20 vendors on their messaging and numerous sales pitches. One conclusion became clear (though I knew this already): Clarity wins hands down.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

‘The first step towards creating beautiful memories’
Value Inspiration
October 10, 2019
This week my wife received a gift from one of her best friends: A box from Rituals. Getting a gift is always nice, but this one was special. What caught my mind was the label on the box which stated: This gift is the first step towards creating beautiful memories. Now how powerful is that! Likely the content inside the box was just a scrub or a lotion – nothing ‘special’. However, Rituals made it special, simply by adding that simple label. The cost? Neglectable. The value: Priceless. If I was in the store to buy it and they’d present me two options – I’d pick this, and I’d be prepared to pay a premium for it. That’s marketing at its best. It’s remarkable.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Why you should drop 80% of the companies you ‘target’
Value Inspiration
October 02, 2019
Back in 2005 we decided to reposition our flagship product. I was globally responsible for product marketing and product management back then. I realized that too often our prospect simply didn’t get what we thought was so obvious. It just took too much effort and time to get the ‘wow!’ Instead we got a lot of ‘eh…what?…’

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Tags: Innovation, Marketing

Shivers vs. Goosebumps
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September 25, 2019
I recently had lunch with a respected colleague and friend of mine, Leoni Jansen, a corporate communications expert. At some point, [...]
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Tags: Marketing, Business Strategy, Public Relations

When customers become fans, the dynamic shifts
Value Inspiration
September 19, 2019
A couple of weeks ago I received the new book by Pat Flynn: Superfans. A book dear to my heart, for a range of reasons. I dedicated a full chapter to this topic in my upcoming book since I believe creating fans, not customers, is a core trait of a Remarkable software business. I am convinced every software company can create fans, and therefore, it should be your prime focus.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Is the impact your software business creates making you proud? I mean really proud.
Value Inspiration
September 12, 2019
What do you answer? How often do we tell the positive story – the ‘we’re doing great’ story. However, deep inside, we’re telling ourselves a different story. Sometimes the question comes as a total surprise, and we answer with the first thing that comes to mind – making us realize there’s still a gap to bridge.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Why do once remarkable companies so often lose their edge?
Value Inspiration
September 05, 2019
The fascinating thing about entrepreneurship is the drive and passion by which the business often starts. You have identified a large-scale problem in the market that’s highly valuable to fix – and you got the confidence your approach to solve it will exceed expectations. You launch, get traction with your first customers who become your ambassadors, and soon your company reaches its tipping point. A dream is about to be realized. Or not….often it stops there and growth stalls…. Why?

Business StrategyOne reason growth stalls, is a shift in the way companies start to act once they have reached their tipping point: From a growth mindset they switch to a protect mindset

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

‘How has your innovation made your customers more valuable?’
Value Inspiration
August 01, 2019
How would you answer this? For many of us, it’s a tough one, simply because the answer often won’t reveal what we silently hope for.

This question is about the essence of innovation. Getting this answer right puts you on a steady path to become remarkable in your category.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

“What stops you from 10x-ing your price?’
Value Inspiration
July 24, 2019
Just think about it. What would it be like if you would raise the current price-point of your software by 1000%, not only 10%?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

‘A mission means it hasn’t been done yet.’
Value Inspiration
July 17, 2019
On my quest to uncover what makes business software companies remarkable, one thing that stands out is their ability to ‘create new possibilities.’ What they do doesn’t have to be original. Hardly anything is these days since innovation is often about combining different things we have become familiar with in new ways so that it provides a new, fresh, and unique experience.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Who do you want your customer to become?
Value Inspiration
July 10, 2019
In my quest to unpack what sets Remarkable Business Software companies apart from ‘the others’ this question plays a crucial role. All the cases that I have reviewed have a clear answer, and that’s what they market: The change i.e. the shift from where their customers are today, to where they want to be.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Crazy…until it’s not
Value Inspiration
July 03, 2019
One of the questions I often reflect on is this one: Why do certain software companies thrive and others …not?
It keeps coming back to me time after time – you see remarkable things and ask the question: How did this start, what did you do? The answer is often 'We just started.'

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

To Boost Sales Performance – Stop Feature Dumping
Value Inspiration
June 13, 2019
As I am writing the final chapters of my upcoming book about the ’10 traits of a remarkable software business, I try am focused on ‘What drives a deal, and what are the causes to lose it.’

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

How to sense when you’ve entered a dead-end-alley with your product?
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June 05, 2019
It’s a question I am exploring concerning the book I am writing on the ten traits to build a remarkable [...]
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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Increase sales performance? Sell the idea, not the product.
Value Inspiration
May 23, 2019
‘What are the key ingredients to increase sales performance?’ It’s a question I elaborate on concerning the book I am writing on the ’10 traits’ of a remarkable software business. One aspect of this that I believe stands out is: Sell the idea, not the product.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

What does it take to turn a customer into a fan?
Value Inspiration
May 08, 2019
It’s a question I am addressing as part of my first book. It always fascinates me how much more value you get if a customer becomes an advocate of your business – when they start referring you to others without even asking them.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Why do you leave money on the table?
Value Inspiration
May 01, 2019
In my previous job, I’ve been responsible for the pricing strategy for quite some time, and consequently, I’ve had many discussions with people in the business about the ‘size of our price.’ No matter what we changed – it always seemed too high for one, and too low for the other. My key take away: Lowering your price is a sign of weakness. It’s the easiest way out. You’ve failed to make a difference.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

You should not be selling a product – really
Value Inspiration
April 17, 2019
I am currently making rapid progress with my first book about the core traits of a remarkable software business. One aspect to look at this is to drill down into the way they market and sell. What’s different, and why is that making the difference?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

So, what do you do?
Value Inspiration
April 03, 2019
How a compelling talk trigger can open many doors
For any of us, there are many opportunities during the week where we can trigger a conversation with someone that could lead to the next big deal. How often do we get the question ‘So, What do you do?’, when we meet someone, while we are commuting, at events, in restaurants. Often it is as simple as answering that very question in a slightly different way.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Would your customers care if…. You’d cease to exist today?
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March 14, 2019
Just think about it. It’s a sincere question. One you might not like at all. However, it’s not about whether [...]
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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

The power of focusing on the benefit of the benefit
Value Inspiration
March 06, 2019
As I have shared many times in previous blogs around messaging and creating compelling value propositions if you assess the essence of the messaging of many software vendors, it’s often cluttered, unclear, generic and as such doesn’t do anything with potential buyers. It falls flat. It’s like talking to deaf-man’s ears. The result? It impacts your ability to attract enough high-quality leads, it affects your ability to have high enough win-rates, and it impacts your ability to win on value, rather than discount.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Product Strategy: Why your product roadmap fails to deliver remarkable value
Value Inspiration
February 21, 2019
In my day to day work with business software vendors I see and review many roadmaps and the result of introducing it to the market. Any vendor carefully prepares its roadmap with the goal to deliver something remarkable – sometimes big and revolutionary, often smaller, but not less important.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

How to stay relevant in your category
Value Inspiration
February 07, 2019
The signs on the wall you should pay attention to

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Do You Struggle To Stand Out With Your Software Company?
Value Inspiration
January 23, 2019
It was at the end of 2005 when I started to appreciate the power of segmentation and positioning. During one my analyst calls one of the industry analysts in my network advised me to get some help around positioning and segmentation of our solution. His honest opinion: ‘your solution has something truly unique, but the way you talk about it doesn’t help you.’ And he was right. We struggled to stand-out in our target segment. We always praised our self as being the best-kept-secret. But who cares if its a secret? The ERP market we played in was dense – a very crowded marketplace – full of much larger vendors with big brands and marketing pockets that made ours look like a drip on a frying pan.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

This is why many software vendors struggle in the cloud
Value Inspiration
January 09, 2019
In my day to day business, I speak to many business software CEOs about what it takes to have an edge in today’s fast pace technology market. One aspect that often comes to the table is how to stay relevant in transforming your software business from on-premise to cloud.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Product strategy: Are you in the comfort zone, or where the magic happens?
Value Inspiration
December 19, 2018
One of the things that always intrigues me is how markets evolve and what’s changing the rules of competition. My network is rich of business software companies that have been in business for 10, 20, 30 years on the one side, and start-ups that are pioneering their space and setting new standards of doing on the other side. It wouldn’t be a surprise to say there are different dynamics between the two groups. However, the question is: why?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Business Strategy: Is your software business suffering from complacency?
Value Inspiration
December 12, 2018
It strikes me every week again when I publish a new edition of my podcast how much contrast there is between the vibe in the new generation software companies and the established ones. You can feel it in everything – the big idea they are after, the focus they have, the determination to make a transformative impact, their business strategy as a whole.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

What business are you in, no, what business are you really in?
Value Inspiration
December 05, 2018
How often do we get the question: “What do you do?” Irrespective of the situation, think about what you answer. All too often we respond with the ‘what,’ not the ‘why.’ We’re answering in autopilot. It’s how we are programmed. This tiny difference in response reveals an enormous opportunity for both marketing and sales – and the answer lies in having a simple but compelling value proposition.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

The Remarkable Effect
Value Inspiration
November 29, 2018
I am fascinated with the art of being remarkable. It’s such a simple, but such a powerful measure. When your software company is ‘worth making a remark about’ something special is happening – and this can become your tipping point. Isn’t that what we all strive for?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Value Proposition: Messaging Tips for Blockchain Vendors
Value Inspiration
November 22, 2018
The reason that I started my own business is because I see too many business software vendors struggle with the way they communicate the value of their product, platform or company. All too often, software companies try to make sales by describing the nuts and bolts of what they created, rather than focusing on the problem they solve or the ambitions they help achieve.

This is definitely the case for ERP vendors, who are notorious for trying to sell based on the “what” rather than the “why.” However, what you may find surprising is that, despite the newness of the technology, the same holds true for vendors and influencers of blockchain, who commonly try to push their products using similarly flawed messaging.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

The Moxie in Your Mission Statement
Value Inspiration
November 14, 2018
It is safe to say that one of the most valuable tools you have as a business software company to create momentum is crafting an effective mission statement. When crafted with care and developed correctly, your mission statement will provide clear direction and purpose for your company and employees. The big question is: Did you create a mission statement with moxie or one that hangs nicely in your meeting rooms and is otherwise meaningless?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

The Power of Defining Product: Brand Fit vs. Product-Market Fit
Value Inspiration
November 07, 2018
There is a common problem among many business software companies today, both startups and established: when brand experience and product experience do not align.

This happens when marketers try to position a product as something it is not, resulting in the brand promise being compromised.

Crafting a brand is important because the way your potential clients see your brand influences their buying choices. And companies that win are the ones that tune their brand experience in every aspect of their business – starting with their product.

Yet, it happens time and again: The brand does not achieve market expectations, so a lot of would-be customers are lost.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Sales Coaching: 5 Steps To Sell Without Selling
Value Inspiration
October 25, 2018
When it comes to sales, the rules are simple: don’t try to impress, don’t be ‘salesy,’ and don’t be generic. Driving business without selling requires demonstrating the value of your service or product to the client in a way that makes doing nothing a losing proposition for them. This blog provides five sales coaching tips to address this.

It may seem paradoxical to sell without selling, but it works. First, approach the sales process by understanding your client’s needs; then craft a no-brainer value proposition. If the client understands the value of your service or product, you’re halfway there.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Exponential Thinking in Six Steps: Unlock Ultimate Success
Value Inspiration
October 17, 2018
Innovation and exponential scale go hand-in-hand. But embracing exponential thinking takes more than a good idea–it requires adopting a flexible mindset.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

8 Ways AI Augments My Business and Life on a Daily Basis
Value Inspiration
October 10, 2018
As an entrepreneur, time is your most valuable resource. So, to get the most out of it, you better challenge yourself to see how and where technology can help you gain more time.

However, as an advocate of disruptive technologies, I am constantly exploring how new solutions and artificial intelligence can not only streamline my business but also be far more impactful. And I can tell you, it’s fascinating to see the effect. So, here are the eight AI-powered products that help me reach my business goals.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Simple Steps to Create a Killer Software Product Strategy
Value Inspiration
October 03, 2018
Why do some software products make it to market while others flop in the development stage? (Interestingly, 14 percent of all IT projects fail, according to the Project Management Institute.) One of the reasons is that many developers lack a proper software product strategy — they have no roadmap to follow, no product plan to guide them. Don’t make the same mistakes as other business software companies. Creating a killer software product development strategy will improve your company’s chances of success and provide you with a long-term return on your investment. Here’s how to do it properly.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

3 Huge SaaS Business Challenges — and How You Can Overcome Them
Value Inspiration
September 27, 2018
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has grown exponentially in recent years. Thirty-three percent of companies used more SaaS applications in 2017 than 2016, and experts predict the SaaS market will be worth $132.57 billion by the year 2020. Still, some SaaS products are more popular than others. Between 2011 and 2016, business operations comprised just 15 percent of all SaaS launches. Marketing made up more than two-and-a-half times that — nearly 39 percent.

It seems, then, that SaaS is a hard sell.

Some customers are still reluctant to shift from on-premises to SaaS. But why? Here are three SaaS business challenges you can overcome.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Boost Your Confidence – Sales Pitching Skills for New Professionals
Value Inspiration
September 20, 2018
Selling business software as a professional who is new to the field can be daunting. After all, not only do you have to deliver all of the impressive and noteworthy facts about your product, but you also have to do it in a manner that is engaging and likable. However, delivering a remarkable sales pitch isn’t impossible if you’re green in selling. In fact, by learning specific sales pitching skills, you can deliver pitches that sell your product every time. Here are some of the most important:

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

Bringing Your Business Inspiration to Life
Value Inspiration
September 18, 2018
If you want to create a software product that improves people’s lives and changes the world, you may feel stuck about how to come up with a good idea–then actually turn that idea into a real company. However, there are some dependable steps you can follow that will help go from having a great idea to having a thriving, functioning company. Check out this guide to help give you business inspiration and figure out what niche you can fill to turn your business software dream into a reality.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Incremental or Exponential Thinking: Down and Dirty on the Gamechanging Shift
Value Inspiration
September 13, 2018
Smart business owners are constantly looking for new ways to grow their company. At least, they should be. This doesn’t mean looking for the new shiny object that everyone is currently trying out, but rather it’s about how to stand out from the crowd. It’s not about how to beat out your competition, but how to make them irrelevant. The answer may not be what you think. The answer is actually in how you think. Do you have an incremental mindset or an exponential one?

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

5 Conclusions From Analyzing the Messaging of 4 Leading ERP Vendors
Value Inspiration
September 12, 2018
When it comes to growing a software business, I’m always considering what factors impact success and how they can be tweaked to optimize performance. So, what “Substantial Growth and Remarkable Impact” question am I thinking about today? It’s the question of marketing and sales impact.

When it comes to ERP vendors, one problem is pervasive: There’s very little originality in the industry. Day in and day out, I see tangible examples of “copy behavior” from one company to the next. Marketing messages and strategies look remarkably similar; selling points sounds strangely the same. Consequently, many vendors sound exactly like one another, which makes it very hard for marketing to paint a unique picture of their brand and generate a genuine desire in the market. This also makes it more difficult for sales teams to increase their win-rates–let alone their deal value.

You would expect this copy behavior to mostly be an issue with lesser-known players. After all, the well-established big guys must know how to create unique selling content that makes their products desirable and differentiated. However, what I’ve discovered is that the opposite is true. Even the best companies in the game are creating marketing copy that sounds like their competitors.

To best understand the marketing challenges (and wins) of ERP vendors, I recently did a messaging study on the top 4 ERP players in the market.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

7 Inspirational Podcasts for Every Business Software Professional
Value Inspiration
September 06, 2018
One of the best ways for business software professionals to find their inspiration today is via media and entertainment—and one of the best forms of entertainment for learning is the podcast. There are countless podcasts produced and released today that can help business software professionals improve their product strategy approach, sharpen their commercial approach, and get new ideas for product and business model innovation.

Here are seven inspirational podcasts that every business software professional should be listening to today.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

4 Differences Between a Sales Pitch and a Business Proposal
Value Inspiration
August 30, 2018
Some people may think that a sales pitch and a business proposal are the same thing; however, they are different stages in proactive sales.

There are four fundamental differences, which I am outlining below. Knowing these differences can help you make a more significant impact.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Value Proposition that Works
Value Inspiration
August 20, 2018
When you run a company, you know its ins and outs; you also know how the products and services you offer can benefit the lives of your customers. However, just because you and your team are intimately in tune with these benefits doesn’t mean your customers will understand them–no matter how good your marketing and ad copy is or your social posts are.

Luckily, there are a few tools you can use to help convince people to buy what you offer–and one of the most useful is known as a value proposition.

If you work in, or run a business software company, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of a value proposition and agree that your company should have one. But do you truly have an understanding of what a value proposition is?

In essence, a value proposition is a summary of the value your service or product will deliver to customers once they choose to buy from you. Your value proposition should summarize the benefits you offer, the problems you solve and the things that differentiate you from your competitors/alternative offerings.

Once you get a better understanding of what a value proposition is, you may feel like you’re ready to craft one for your organization. However, to create a value proposition that works, you should review examples of successful value propositions from real world companies. By looking at examples of value propositions that helped companies grow, you can determine what you should (and shouldn’t) include in yours, and how you can use your statement to generate and convert more leads.

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Product Strategy: How to Make Human Human Again
Value Inspiration
July 25, 2018
Google the phrase, ‘AI and Robots are going to take our jobs’ and you get an idea of the incredible amount of focus and buzz surrounding this topic. Folks are worried that in a world of fast-moving technology, all the smart bots are about to put us out of work.

However, it is clear to me that something else should concern us more. I have been speaking with a lot of CEOs of business software companies like yours and they have given me insights on their product vision.

They have also shown me that too many business software solutions are all about process, not about people.

And this is where the problem lies: We have, at our fingertips, a huge volume of human resources. But they are enormously underutilized.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Do you Experience Challenges to Grow Revenue From Your Most Recent SaaS products?
Value Inspiration
July 18, 2018
Has your revenue for your SaaS product become stagnant? Many factors influence the success of your software, but it often comes down to whether you give your customers enough value for their money. Once you examine the benefits and exponential growth potential that you can provide to their organizations, you’re one step closer to growing your SaaS revenue. Here are four product strategy questions that you need to ask yourself in order to achieve your goal.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

How to Inspire New Success if Your Business Software Strategy Plateaus?
Value Inspiration
July 11, 2018
Refresh your business strategy by inspiring your business future
Are you experiencing a plateau in your business strategy software company’s growth and product strategy? If so, you’re not alone. Many of your competitors have experienced challenges with customer attrition and growth after a previous spike in sales.

The good news is, this is completely normal. Not only is your situation something that nearly every other business software company has dealt with, you can view it as a necessary evil. By leveraging these dips in retention and growth, you can discover some of the holes in your company’s business model and emerge stronger than ever.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Find Your Sea Legs: A Blue Ocean Product Strategy Can Unlock New, Vast Markets
Value Inspiration
July 04, 2018
How to drive product innovation by thinking in blue ocean shifts

Everything you see within your field of vision is the same. If I reflect on my vast experience in the market for ERP, HCM, Procurement or CRM solutions, and more recently with Blockchain and Digital Banking Platforms, the thing I see is a crowded space with (on the surface) very little differentiation. It all still seems homogenous somehow, nothing standing out from the crowd, at least from the view at 30,000 feet. For a business software organization contemplating a product strategy that will make a splash, get noticed, and quickly gain needed traction, the endless congruence extending to the horizon can be intimidating.

So what’s the key to a successful product strategy when everything you see looks the same, and the barriers to entry are overwhelming? My advice: Turn your head and look in an entirely different direction, one not riddled with competition and uniformity. Simply put, making a blue ocean shift is the difference-maker you’re looking for if you can inhabit the right perspective and mindset.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

How to Carve out a Product Strategy to Outlasts the Competition?
Value Inspiration
June 27, 2018
I’ve talked a lot in my recent podcasts and blogs about the need to think differently, and to think big in order to stand out. My guests on the show have been giving you tips for succeeding in the business software world by tweaking your product strategies and vision.

Here are some of the top things I have seen in the experts I am interviewing and speaking with....

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Product Strategy: To Be Remarkable Requires A Different Mindset
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June 20, 2018
A remarkable product vision and strategy is all about delivering an exponential impact to your customers. They don’t want to see a 10 percent increase here and there. They want 10x results. Customers and prospects have a lot of resistance when it comes to changing from one business software so

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Improve Your Business by Defining Its Purpose
Value Inspiration
June 13, 2018
In a field like business software development, every company is looking to solve an issue in the market. Everyone wants to focus on improving their corporate vision. Regardless of its size, companies focus on finding ways of helping other companies and people find ways of being more successful in their field, helping them find their corporate vision. However, many companies do so without understanding or clarifying why they do it. These companies either forget or never really define their purpose and many of the companies that do see limited or no success.

The key to success is to have a well-defined purpose. It gives your business the foundation that it needs to set itself apart in a particular field or the ability to create a new segment of the industry. Here is a look at how you can improve your business by defining its purpose.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

4 Top Product Innovation Strategies for Unlocking Non-Linear Growth
Value Inspiration
June 06, 2018
Do you feel sometimes that your business software company is losing its edge? Would you like to know how you can get ahead again? An abundance of new technology and data today presents huge challenges, but also greater opportunities.

Unlocking non-linear growth starts with rethinking your ideal business model. Ask yourself the following:

“What can I do to move forward effectively?”
“What current techniques are not working, and what can I change?”
“Even better, what old strategies can I do away with?”

By implementing new product strategies, you can streamline the process and move towards your goals faster. And once you know the key areas to focus on, planning your innovation strategy is clearer.

You define your goals, you change your approach, and you get there. You get your product in their hands.

Here are some examples of what you can do to change your approach and reach your sales targets.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

What’s the secret behind creating innovation that has exponential scale (part 2)
Value Inspiration
May 29, 2018
n the past weeks, I have had several podcast interviews that showed me the power of technology when it augments the unique strengths of people and helps them to create exponential impact.

What I found was that, by diving deeper into the individual innovations, you could uncover two specific angles with regards to how exponential impact is created. For the sake of having a better term, I’d describe them as ‘One-to-Masses’ and ‘Masses-to-One’.

Now, why is this important? Well, it highlights an interesting framework to find solutions for many problems in the market. It helps to challenge problems in different ways by:

looking for the abundance that’s unleveraged
Addressing the outcomes rather than outputs/inputs
By focusing on a unique challenge of one single individual
…and this helps to create entirely new markets, rather than disrupting old ones.

This is part 2 in this series. This blog focuses on the angle of delivering exponential impact through the lens of ‘One-to-Masses’.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

What’s the secret behind innovation that creates exponential impact (part 1)
Value Inspiration
May 23, 2018
In January of this year, I started a podcast series with the sole purpose to share compelling stories of the value we can unlock when technology augments the unique strengths of people to help them to create remarkable impact.

As quoted in the book “Machines | Platforms | Crowd’ “The success of a venture almost never turns on how much technology it can access, but how its people use that technology, and on what values they imbue in the organization“.

Now that the first 15 podcasts have been released I reflected on them to see if there are any patterns worth sharing. What I found was that, by diving deeper into the individual innovations, you could uncover two specific angles with regards to how exponential impact is created. For the sake of having a better term, I’d describe them as ‘One-to-Masses’ and ‘Masses-to-One’.

Now, why is this important?

Well, as quoted again by the authors of the book Machines | Platforms | Crowd: “We have more freedom to do things that simply could not have been one in earlier generations. Rather than being locked into any one future, we have greater ability to shape the future”

And the patterns that I spotted by analyzing the interviews highlight an interesting framework to unlock new forms of value creation. It can actually help in creating entirely new markets (rather than disrupting old ones). And, as you can imagine, this is what inspires me. So, let’s dive into the details.

This blog specifically focuses on the different aspects of creating exponential impact through the lens of ‘Masses to One’.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Is your software solution losing its edge? Don’t panic!
Value Inspiration
May 15, 2018
Do you experience it’s getting harder and harder to compete with your business software? Do you experience diminishing levels of differentiation? You’re not alone. According to a recent Ovum study, almost a quarter (24%) of high-tech businesses are unable to keep pace with changing customer expectations. Software companies seem to be squeezed from two directions: they had the second highest score (22%) for being unable to keep pace with escalating customer expectations and the second highest score for competitive pressure (7.1).

There are some core reasons mentioned for this:

New disruptive market entrants” are seen as the top-ranked contributing factor to competitive intensity. This accounts for 18.5% of all “top factor” concerns (rising up from the second-placed “top factor” concern in 2016).
This top place is jointly held with “ease of substitution of one product or service for another in the customers’ eyes.”
The largest overall concern was “new products and services causing market fragmentation.”
Now the key question is? What’s keeping business software companies from fighting back? I see ISVs being challenged in a variety of ways...

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Are You Facing a Growing Challenge to Outperform Agile Startups?
Value Inspiration
May 08, 2018
It wasn’t that too long ago that startups were viewed as the new kids on the block in the business and tech communities. Most startups wouldn’t even come close to breaking even — never mind breaking into the market.

Today, startups are often feared in the business world. Not only do they have advantages over many of their larger competitors, but consumers will now often choose a startup over an established company because these new companies have an allure that is hard for larger companies to compete with.

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Tags: Innovation, Lean Startup, Agile

How to Deliver a Sales Pitch that Sticks
Value Inspiration
May 01, 2018
Pitching to stakeholders is very personal. Everyone who has a stake in buying your product needs to feel understood and valued. They need to understand how your product solves their unique challenges. All true, but not enough. Ideally, you want people to be talking about you long after you have left the building. You want to plant an idea that sticks with them and is worth making a remark about. This will set you apart from the other salespeople they’ve seen and will help improve both your sales win rates and your average deal value.

But how to go about? Here are four steps to get you going.

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Tags: Management, Marketing, Sales

3 Ways Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt Win Clients
Value inspiration
April 24, 2018
There comes a time in the life of every salesperson when you solve a problem so horrendous, you remember why you got into the business in the first place. You, as the salesperson, inevitably remember the pleasure part of the story — that part where you get to save the day. Yet, what you should be focusing on is the pain that preceded that pleasure.

Similarly, your customers can’t feel good about your services if they haven’t felt the pain of their absence beforehand.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Can Your Salespeople Claim Pole Position at the First Meeting?
Value inspiration
April 17, 2018
Do your salespeople know the difference between pitching and bragging about your company? Pitching involves changing your prospect’s perspective by communicating a vision and showcasing the true value of your products and services. Too many people take the bragging approach, which goes on about how great your company is, or how rich the features of your product are – thereby completely losing the connection with the customer.

This sales method takes away the opportunity to start out in the pole position. The only thing the customer ends up remembering after seeing five other vendors is the negative parts of the experience. You need a different method to end up on their shortlist, let alone lead the shortlist.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

Can Your Salespeople Claim Pole Position with their Sales Pitch?
Import from wordpress feed
April 17, 2018
Do your salespeople know the difference between pitching and bragging about your company? Sales pitching involves changing your prospect’s perspective by communicating a vision and showcasing the true value of your products and services. Too many people take the bragging approach, which goes on ab

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

5 Ways to Differentiate Your Business from the Competition
Value Inspiration
April 11, 2018
One of the main reasons it’s so important for businesses to have competitors is because it helps keep everyone on their toes. Why? Because each business is going to work to set themselves apart from the competition. Through these efforts, their offers, services, and standards will improve.

If you want to successfully attract more customers and ensure your business grows, then you have to distinguish what you do from what everyone else does. Fortunately, there are several ways you can stand out from the competition by using the resources you currently have.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

5 Signs You’re Losing Real Value in the Sales Cycle
Value Inspiration
April 02, 2018
Struggling to seal the deal? You’re not alone. The majority of salespeople are pitching all wrong. Here are five signs you are losing value in the sales cycle — and the steps you can take to become a killer seller.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

Becoming remarkable by redefining productivity
Value Inspiration
October 21, 2017
This blog is part of a series that originated from my original blog “What shifts are shaping the opportunity to become remarkable (again).” In that blog, I discussed four megatrends that drive new opportunities to reimagine the core of what we do. This blog zooms in on the third impact of these shifts: The opportunity that arises when we reimagine productivity.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Becoming remarkable by redefining the way work is done
Value Inspiration
October 15, 2017
This blog is the third part of a series related to my initial blog “What shifts are shaping the opportunity to become remarkable (again),” in which I discussed four megatrends that drive new opportunities to reimagine the core of what we do. In this blog, I will zoom in on the second impact of these shifts: The opportunity to redefine the way work is done.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Becoming remarkable by redefining the value you deliver
Value Inspiration
October 07, 2017
In my previous blog “What shifts are shaping the opportunity to become remarkable (again)”, I discussed what’s going on around us and how that shapes new opportunities to reimagine the core of what we do.
In my next blogs, I will discuss the opportunities to create new levels of differentiation due to the fact the very concept of work is being redefined as different generations enter and exit the workforce amidst a rapidly changing technological landscape. This blog is about the first opportunity: The redefinition of Value.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

What shifts are shaping the opportunity to become remarkable (again)
Value Inspiration
September 29, 2017
As I discussed in my previous blog about starting my own business, it’s my firm believe too many business software companies suffer from what I have begun to refer to as ‘the innovation gap.’ This means they do not live up (anymore) to their real potential, delivering average solutions, to average customers, with average results.
So, the fundamental question is: What does it take to become remarkable (again)? And the answer to that is obviously not an easy one. But a good way to approach the challenge is to understand what’s going on around us and how that shapes new opportunities to reimagine the core of what we do.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Realizing a dream – starting my own business
Value Inspiration
September 21, 2017
As with all things in life: time flies when you’re having fun. And boy does that play to me these days! It’s already 2.5 months ago since I’ve split with the employer where I’ve invested +26 years of my life: Unit4. I am looking back at a great time, as Unit4 has been an employer that has always given me the freedom, trust, and opportunities to make a difference. This has been fundamental to become who I am today.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

1 Book
The Remarkable Effect
The Choir Press
February 02, 2020
Remarkable is more than just a word. It's a vision. It's the art to create meaningful impact to prospects and customers. Being remarkable is something that I believe every company can achieve. The Remarkable Effect was written to help tech-entrepreneurs-on-a-mission shape the software business they've always aspired to run: Remarkable and Impactful.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

1 Industry Certification
The GC People Leader Series meets…Game Changer Ton Dobbe
Dialog Review
August 05, 2020
In this edition of The GC Index People Leader Series Lucy Brown talks to Ton Dobbe, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Value Inspiration about what it is to be a leader and how his natural proclivities support his effectiveness as a leader.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Leadership

15 Influencer Awards
Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Entrepreneurship (August 2021)
Thinkers360
August 01, 2021

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Tags: Entrepreneurship

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on AI (June 2021)
Thinkers360
June 19, 2021

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Tags: AI

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Smart Cities (February 2021)
Thinkers360
February 12, 2021

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Tags: Smart Cities

50 Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders You Should Read in 2021
Thinkers360
December 03, 2020

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Tags: Entrepreneurship

#6 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Marketing (August 2020)
Thinkers360
August 09, 2020

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Tags: Marketing

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Digital Disruption (July 2020)
Thinkers360
July 27, 2020

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Tags: Digital Disruption

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Emerging Technology (April 2020)
Thinkers360
April 05, 2020

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Tags: Emerging Technology

100 B2B Thought Leaders and Influencers to Follow in 2020
Thinkers360
December 30, 2019

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Tags: Entrepreneurship

#7 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Innovation (November 2019)
Thinkers360
November 19, 2019

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Tags: Innovation

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Blockchain (November 2019)
Thinkers360
November 16, 2019

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Tags: Blockchain

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Innovation (November 2019)
Thinkers360
November 11, 2019

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Tags: Innovation

#3 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Artificial Intelligence (September 2019)
Thinkers360
September 21, 2019

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Tags: AI

Top 20 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on FinTech (March 2019)
Thinkers360
March 01, 2019

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Tags: Fintech

Top 20 Global Thought Leaders on Blockchain (November 2018
Thinkers360
November 01, 2018

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Tags: Blockchain

#1 Global Thought Leaders on AI
Thinkers360
October 04, 2018
Proud to be ranked #1 on the Thinkers360 leaderboard for global thought leaders on AI for October 2018

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Tags: AI

3 Keynotes
We’re at a stage where tech has the power to amplify people’s skills beyond their natural limits
Value Inspiration
October 11, 2018
Exponential results are created when humans and machines work together.
Once you combine these powers together it magnifies the core strengths that we have forgotten about
Our Creativity strengths…
 
That’s what we should strive for.

Intelligence augmentation is where we should focus the discussion
To build solutions that make people better – not just automate them out of a process

Once we do that, we’ll create a world that’s fun to work and live in

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

How do organisations go "Back to the Future"
CIO Conference 2017
April 16, 2017
How do organisations go "Back to the Future" and combat disruption in their sector? Ton Dobbe, Chief Evangelist, Unit4 explains.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Digital Disruption, Innovation

Start planning from your vision, rather than your present
IDG
July 14, 2016
Digital Transformation drives the agenda of (m)any organization(s). It's a critical undertaking to stay relevant in a world that's where nothing appears to remain the same as digital innovation is reshaping the markets we operate in, the competition we face, and the business models we've become so familiar with. But how do you go about - what are the do’s and don’ts?
In this keynote, I take your audience on a journey and inspire them with examples of successful transformations where the mantra was: Start planning from your vision, instead of from your present.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

8 Media Interviews
The Wicked Podcast #34 - Ton Dobbe: The Remarkable Effect
The Wicked Podcast - Markus Kirsch
February 23, 2021
We talk to Ton Dobbe, product specialist and startup consultant about how to make your product or service relevant to your customers.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Reality Check Leadership podcast - E17 - Ton Dobbe
The Reality Check Leadership Podcast
January 19, 2021
This week our incredible guest is Ton Dobbe!

If you don’t know who is Ton Dobbe I’d like to invite you to check on his podcast (Tech Entrepeneur on a mission), his book (The remarkable effect), his company (Value inspiration), and his feed here on Linkedin

We have shared paths a couple of years ago and the first time I saw Ton he was on stage giving an incredible inspiring keynote about ERPs future!!! (normally a not so exciting theme on a keynote format!). Well, guess what… Ton made it exciting and he definitively inspired me to look to that business in a different way. We kept in touch ever since.

Passioned by business he dedicates his life in helping software businesses and their leaders to create remarkable products while working on the transformative ways to get there.
We had a really cool conversation about leadership and the effects of positive and negative leadership on teams and businesses. We also took the opportunity to share our common thoughts about José Duarte, CEO of Infovista who has been for me one of the most inspirational leaders I’ve ever worked with!!

A quote: “A team that works together and collaboratively always wins!”

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

What Makes a Great Software Business | With Expert Ton Dobbe
SaaS District
January 08, 2021
Ton Dobbe is an author, podcast host, speaker & founder of value inspiration, a growth consultancy focused tech-entrepreneurs where they help B2B software CEO’s grow their businesses.

Ton believes that the future belongs to software businesses that create products worth making a remark about.

Ton is also the founder of the Tech-entrepreneur-on-a-mission tribe, a community focused on delivering the vision behind your software company with more impact and accelerating growth trajectory. He’s also the author of “the remarkable effect”, what he describes as the essential book for tech entrepreneurs on a mission.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Full Episode: Tech Entrepreneurship 2020 & The Remarkable Effect | Tech Entrepreneur Talk
SaugaTalks
September 10, 2020
Full Episode: SaugaTalks with Ton Dobbe.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

How to build a remarkable company with Ton Dobbe, keynote speaker and author (MDE386)
MinterDialogue
September 05, 2020
Minter Dialogue Episode #386

Ton Dobbe is an expert in developing software companies, founder of the boutique Value Inspiration agency, a keynote speaker, podcaster and the author of The Remarkable Effect: The Essential Book for Tech-Entrepreneurs-on-a-Mission. In this conversation, we discuss how and why Ton wrote his book, what it takes to build a successful software company (where per Ton all companies are going to become at least in part a software company), and how to become a remarkable company.

Please send me your questions -- as an audio file if you'd like -- to nminterdial@gmail.com. Otherwise, below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to rate and/or review it here: https://ratethispodcast.com/mdial.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

New Normal: Ton Dobbe of Value Inspiration
Deal Architect - Vinnie Mirchandani
July 09, 2020
Ton Dobbe, Chief Inspiration Officer at Value Inspiration talks to Vinnie Mirchandani of Deal Architect about heroics he has seen acrobatics he has seen during the COVID-19 crisis at startups he follows.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Thought Leader Interview with Ton Dobbe, Chief Inspiration Officer, Value Inspiration
Thinkers360
May 28, 2019
Thinkers360 Interviews profile prominent members of the Thinkers360 community who embody the power of ideas in their work. In this edition, we speak with Ton Dobbe, Chief Inspiration Officer, Value Inspiration.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Standing out in a crowded marketplace with Ton Dobbe
Dr. Diane Hamilton
March 08, 2019
As the marketplace becomes more crowded, many organizations find it harder and harder to stand out. If they do not rise above, this will cause for momentum and the creation of products to stop altogether. Recognizing this problem, Ton Dobbe, Chief Inspiration Officer at Value Inspiration, helps CEOs stand out in their category, most especially those in the software industry. Ton talks about getting CEOs to become more innovative. He lays down the common mistakes organizations make when it comes to their foundational ideas and gives out great points to think about in order to overcome those.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

213 Podcasts
#221 – Nemo D’Qrill, CEO at Sigma Polaris – on building products that people love, not like
#221 – Nemo D’Qrill, CEO at Sigma Polaris – on building products that people love, not like
June 29, 2022
A story about making an impact every day and being different together

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to solve the global talent problem. My guest is Nemo D’Qrill, CEO at Sigma Polaris

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

#220 – Shay David, CEO of Retrain.AI – on Product Market Fit resilience
Ton Dobbe
June 22, 2022
How to create a product that provides a direct line to value for the relevant market.

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help bring the global unemployment rates down. My guest is Shay David, Co-founder, and CEO of Retrain.AI

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

#219, Christine Tao, CEO at Sounding Board – on creating successful businesses
Ton Dobbe
June 15, 2022
A story about empowering people to make the biggest possible difference

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to make 1-1 coaching approachable for all of us. My guest is Christine Tao, Co-founder & CEO at Sounding Board.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

#218 – Firaas Rashid, CEO of Hook – on building defensible differentiation
Ton Dobbe
June 08, 2022
Lessons from building a SaaS product with transformative power

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help customer success teams cut churn, boost revenue and grow faster. My guest is Firaas Rashid, Founder, and CEO of Hook.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

#217 – Amir Konigsberg, CEO Pragma AI – on creating a SaaS business that’s built to last
Ton Dobbe
June 01, 2022
Transforming how we serve clients with automatic knowledge creation

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to ace customer interactions and accelerate revenue. My guest is Amir Konigsberg, Co-founder, and CEO of Pragma AI

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

#216 – Ariel Hitron, CEO of Second Nature – on winning the essential sales conversations
Ton Dobbe
May 25, 2022
Why many software vendors don't get the traction they hope for.

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to practice sales conversations without pressure. My guest is Ariel Hitron, Co-founder and CEO of Second Nature

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

#215 – Dan Hubert, Founder and CEO AppyWay – on making the impossible possible
Ton Dobbe
May 18, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation enabling more electric, autonomous mobility to become a reality. That paves the way for automated compliance. Seamless transactions. And smarter, cleaner, more efficient cities. For everyone. My guest is Dan Hubert, Founder and CEO AppyWay

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

#214 – Tobias Konitzer Ph.D., CEO of Ocurate – on using LTV to solve profitability issues
Ton Dobbe
May 11, 2022
The difference it makes when Lifetime Value becomes the organizing principle of your business

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help B2C business spend their money right – to increase profitability. My guest is Tobias Konitzer Ph.D., CEO of Ocurate

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Tags: Startups, Leadership, Entrepreneurship

#213 – Baptiste Boulard, CEO Swapcard – on dominating a niche
Ton Dobbe
May 04, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to connect business people in ways that are more engaging and drive more value. My guest is Baptiste Boulard, CEO of Swapcard

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

#211 – Ilia Zelenkin, CEO of Bitskout on creating transformational change
Ton Dobbe
April 20, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give us back the energy and power to do the things where human intelligence and imagination shine. My guest is Ilia Zelenkin, CEO Bitskout.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

#210 – Nimrod Priell, CEO of Cord on leveraging Make/Buy/Partner in SaaS
Ton Dobbe
April 13, 2022
How tiny details can make a huge difference in strategy and go-to-market success

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that gives B2B SaaS businesses the opportunity to increase their value by making their product multiplayer. My guest is Nimrod Priell, CEO of Cord.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

#209 – Daniel Erickson, CEO of Viable on nailing Product Market Fit
Ton Dobbe
April 06, 2022
A story about what it takes to build software that customers love

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to finally prevent us from relying on anecdotes that lead to biased decisions and with that build products customers love. My guest is Daniel Erickson, Founder, and CEO of Viable.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

#208 – Scott Markovits, CEO Spontaneousli on creating problem-market fit
Ton Dobbe
April 01, 2022
Avoid going the funding route and focus on building a SaaS business that's sustainable

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to grow our happiness and connectivity at work – especially when we’re part of a distributed team. My guest is Scott Markovits, CEO Spontaneousli.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

#207 – Rami Darwish, CEO Arrow Labs on empowering 2 billion deskless workers
Ton Dobbe
March 23, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to enable desk-less workers to perform at their highest potential, with minimal intervention to their workday. My guest is Rami Darwish, Founder, and CEO of Arrow Labs

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

#206 – Adam Spiro, CEO of Spiro AI on embracing a customer first mindset
Ton Dobbe
March 16, 2022
A story about being on a mission to kill CRM

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to relieve salespeople from having to use CRM, so they can focus on what they’re best at: In the moment selling. My guest is Adam Honig, CEO of Spiro AI

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

#205 – Gregory Lim, CEO Persosa on delivering transformative change
Ton Dobbe
March 09, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to end the era of being inundated with media every single day. And my guest is Gregory Lim, Co-founder, and CEO of Persosa.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

“A simple question can change your life”
Ton Dobbe
March 02, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to the personal development and aging challenge for all of us. My guest is Emil Jimenez, Founder, and CEO of Mind Bank AI

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Imagine being able to leverage compliance as a competitive advantage…
Ton Dobbe
February 23, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to ​​help companies to build trust towards their customers and close deals faster by putting their privacy compliance on autopilot. My guest is Stine Mangor Tornmark, Co-founder and CEO of Openli.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

How to create a timesheet app that users want to show off with on Instagram
Ton Dobbe
February 16, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that gives each of us the power to fulfill our potential without sacrificing all the other good things in life. My guest is Manuel Bruschi, Founder, and CEO of Timeular.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

“If I want to be remarkable, I have to be a pioneer.”
Ton Dobbe
February 09, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help ambitious people become more focused and productive. My guest is Jonas Vossler, Founder, and CEO of Flow Lab.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

The best advice from B2B SaaS CEOs across 200 podcast episodes
Ton Dobbe
February 02, 2022
Welcome to episode 200 of the Tech-entrepreneur on a mission podcast.

Because this is a big milestone on the journey I didn't want to devote this podcast to one guest - instead I got 22.
A big element of every single episode of the podcast is the advice from tech-entrepreneurs to other tech-entrepreneurs about the most valuable lessons learned in building a remarkable SaaS business.

So I've made a hand-picked selection of quotes from the 200 episodes that have featured between the 1st of January 2018 and today. And in doing so I've uncovered 7 different themes.



1 - Just Start & Think big
2 - Declaring war to the problem
3 - Challenge the status quo and create change
4 - The right mindset - because there are no shortcuts
5 - The power of creating leverage
6 - Clarity about value
7 - Removing ego - act as a team

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

How hard can it be – Startup lessons from trying (and failing) to take down Facebook
Ton Dobbe
January 27, 2022
This podcast interview shares the big lessons learned from the failed attempts and required pivots running a startup that was on a mission to take down Facebook. My guest is Arnaud Henneville-Wedholm, author of “How Hard Can It Be”

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Transforming the fairness of our legal system by bringing together the best of people and technology
Ton Dobbe
January 19, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to make change to the effectiveness and fairness of our justice system. My guest is Jacqueline Schafer, Founder, and CEO of ClearBrief.

We explore what’s broken in the legal tech market. That the focus is too much on the process, and not on the outcome – a more just legal system. Jacqueline shares her vision for the Justice system and how she’s carefully architecting a product that’s both sticky for its users, has strong network effects, and an ability to create a fairer justice system for all of us. She talks about the biggest hurdles she had to overcome – and what’s been critical in her eyes to create a remarkable software business that has staying power.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Creating an organization that not only survives a global crisis but comes out stronger altogether
Ton Dobbe
January 12, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to build the best content, connect people across the world and create happy customers – but also about what it takes to grow a global SaaS business in periods of severe change.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups

How diverse and distributed teams can accomplish truly amazing things…
Ton Dobbe
January 05, 2022
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to bridge the best of both worlds to create remarkable results in an increasingly remote workplace. My guest is Matt Compton, Co-founder, and CEO of Filo.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Great innovation starts with beautiful (but big) constraints
Ton Dobbe
December 22, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on the art of product innovation – and how people, not technology, often play a fundamental role in creating success. My guest is Derek Mendonça, Co-Founder Singular Aircraft

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

How creative still remains a mystery to many – and why that’s holding us back in many ways
Ton Dobbe
December 15, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help us maximize the impact behind all our creative decisions, and my guest is Anastasia Leng, Founder, and CEO of CreativeX.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

The power of creating a culture of continuous improvement and an ability to solve problems quickly
Ton Dobbe
December 08, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to enable people on the manufacturing floor to boost continuous improvements and focus on that matters. My guest is Martin Cloake, CEO of Raven AI

Martin is an experienced executive and award-winning technology entrepreneur with a background in Manufacturing, Data Science, IP, and Operations Management. He holds multiple patents and is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

To make the biggest impact we should blow up our calendar
Ton Dobbe
December 01, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to let us all create a bigger impact, by spending less time in meetings. My guest is Alessandra Knight, Co-Founder, and CEO of Katch.

We explore what’s broken in the way we manage our time or have our time managed for us – and how that erodes the impact we can make. The traditional ways to manage calendars is flawed – since it doesn’t take our mindset, energy levels, and priorities into account. Alessandra shares the big idea behind her company and how she’ll use technology to give us back uninterrupted focus.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

How to create an organization where the bulk of your employees are so committed that they are willing to put in their own money
Ton Dobbe
November 24, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to shape the conditions where everyone can come to work in an environment that’s right for them. My guest is Nico Blier Silvestri, Co-Founder and CEO of Platypus.

We explore what's broken in the market where it comes to building thriving cultures. We discuss that's very much a management issue - and what difference can be made if technology and people blend in the right way. Nico shares his stories about the journey he's been through in taking the Platypus from an initial vision to where it is today. He shares the mistakes he made and explains how we overcame some big hurdles to get to Product-Market Fit and create a solution that makes a significant difference in the eyes of his customers.

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Tags: Culture, Entrepreneurship, Startups

The value we can create when software makes its users remarkable
Ton Dobbe
November 17, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give all of us new options to communicate more humanly and be trusted faster. My guest is David Jay, Founder and CEO of Warm Welcome

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Value creation isn’t often so much about the accuracy of your technology, but how useful it is in the eyes of the user
Ton Dobbe
November 10, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help young people speak their truths and tap into their superpowers. My guest is Ivy Mahsciao, Founder and CEO of evrmore.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

How to make workplace culture less accidental – and let people succeed from the get-go.
Ton Dobbe
November 03, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help create the workplace culture we’d all dream to work in. My guest is Petri Lehtonen, CEO of Flowtrace

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

“When your back is up against the wall, that’s when you do your most creative work”
Ton Dobbe
October 27, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on the journey and the big resilience lessons learned by a startup as it moved from start, to launch, various pivots towards ultimate success. My guest is Paul Wickers, Founder, and CEO of Huggg.me

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

How seemingly subtle product strategy decisions can set you apart in a big way
Ton Dobbe
October 20, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to grow the impact we can make by super-powering our communications. My guest is Surbhi Rathore, Co-Founder, and CEO of Symbl.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

A story about executing bold vision – one about reimagining the way the world works for the benefit of employees.
Ton Dobbe
October 13, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to transform our workplace into a fair workplace – starting with fair pay. My guest is Maria Colacurcio, CEO of Syndio

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

By thinking differently about three ways in which we approach data, we enable the future of the world
Ton Dobbe
October 06, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to move us to where we are at the centre of our own digital life, and back in control over our own data. My guest is Julian Ranger, Executive Chairman and Founder of Digi.me.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Radical Product Thinking – the art of creating world-changing products
Ton Dobbe
September 29, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on the art to transform our visions into reality – and with that create products that create meaningful change. My guest is Radhika Dutt, Author of Radical Product Thinking

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

How taking a radically different approach to solving a problem can move an entire industry into having a massive competitive disadvantage
Ton Dobbe
September 22, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to provide all of us with a highly intelligent and hyper-personalized assistant. My guest is Peter Voss, Founder, CEO, and Chief Scientist of Aigo AI

Peter is a serial entrepreneur, engineer, inventor, and pioneer in Artificial Intelligence. He coined the term ‘AGI’ (Artificial General Intelligence) with fellow luminaries in this space.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Focus on Burn rate, People, and Product Innovation – a recipe to not only survive a crisis but to come out stronger.
Ton Dobbe
September 15, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on the big resilience lessons learned during the recent Pandemic. My guest is Ronni Zehavi, CEO and Co-founder of Hibob

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, HR, Startups

When innovation gets so impactful that the industry starts working against you
Ton Dobbe
September 08, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give blind people their sight back and make robots see and interpret exactly what we see. My guest is Sheila Nirenberg, Founder, and CEO of Bionic Sight and Nirenberg Neuroscience.

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Tags: AI, Entrepreneurship, Startups

A story about creating business software people love, not just like
Ton Dobbe
September 01, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to create top-performing sales teams that live and breath their sales ambition – because they’re highly motivated and their natural competitive instinct is supercharged. My guest is Sindre Haaland, Founder and CEO of SalesScreen.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Sales, Startups

How creating the right content can turn a cash-challenged business into a growth machine
Ton Dobbe
August 25, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to enable creative thinkers and storytellers to create content people actually want to read. My guest is Ryo Chiba, Co-founder, and CEO of Topic.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

How digital transformation successfully helps grow and win back customers by leveraging paper-based experiences
Ton Dobbe
August 18, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give marketers the freedom to leverage the combined power of direct and digital marketing while removing the compromises. And my guest is Dennis Kelly, CEO of Postalytics

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

A story about a startup that’s transforming individual learning
Ton Dobbe
July 28, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to take our personal growth to new levels in a way that’s not only fun and easy to accomplish, but also highly accessible and affordable. My guest is Elena Agaragimova, Founder and Chief Growth Officer at Bessern

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, HR, Startups

How technology can make a live event worth being live and worth experiencing with other people – online
Value Inspiration
July 21, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to transform the virtual experiences we have today into near live experiences. My guest is Sean Heiney, Founder and COO at SignalWire.

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Tags: AI, Entrepreneurship, Innovation

A fresh technology approach to bringing measurement and accountability to workplace D&I commitments
Ton Dobbe
July 14, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give under-represented groups a fair opportunity in the workplace while helping businesses attract 70% more diverse talent and twice the relevant talent, in half the time. My guest is Helen McGuire, Co-founder, and CEO of Diversely

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Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, Startups

Imagine if we could accurately predict a customer’s response, rather than guessing at it?
Value Inspiration
July 06, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help creative people know upfront whether their Creative will work – and with that produce work that has an exponentially bigger impact. My guest is Coen Olde Olthof, CEO of Alpha.One

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

A story about how taking a contrarian approach helped create defensible differentiation and remove barriers for growth
Value Inspiration
June 30, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that enables small & medium businesses around the world escape the chaos of managing their software subscriptions. My guest is Gordian Braun, CEO and Co-founder of onetool

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Tags: AI, Entrepreneurship, Startups

A story about thinking big, starting small, to transform the way people and goods move across cities.
Ton Dobbe
June 23, 2021
An interview with Ryan Green, Co-Founder and CEO Gridwise

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to transform the way we experience commuting for all of us. My guest is Ryan Green, Co-Founder and CEO Gridwise.

Ryan is a driven, self-starter with a passion for building businesses that positively impact the lives of millions. He co-founded his first business, FXConnection back in 2012. FXConnection was a platform that provided tools to educate people on the Forex Markets, and connects them to trading coaches. He then joined PNC in FX Sales and trading, after which he co-founded Gridwise in June 2016 to turn an idea that sparked during his time at the US Navy into reality.

Their mission: To impact the global society by improving the way people and goods move in cities. How? By creating a smarter mobility grid that empowers on-demand drivers, cities, and mobility stakeholders to plan ahead by understanding transit patterns across the major service providers in real-time.

This inspired me, and hence I invited Ryan to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in mobility, and all the problems that lead to. We then dive into his founder story, what sparked the big idea, and how persistence helped Ryan succeed when no one believed in his idea upfront. We discuss his extremely lean approach to innovation and what he believes is required to build a software business your customers just keep talking about.

Here are some of his quotes:

What was really important was – and I think a constant battle for people who are starting out a new concept but also just people at different stages of growing a product in launching new features – is always taking initially a minimal and iterative approach to product development.

We started with an email that we manually produced every week and a text message service that was us manually typing alerts to drivers. There’s no automation to it at the start. And we did things that didn’t scale. But it allowed us to prove out, and just save a lot of time and a lot of money by being able to learn from our users, before we built something that nobody wants.

And so I think that was that approach and that mindset, we applied to the first concept, and then the next version of the app, and the next version, we just continued to maintain that mentality. And I believe that really led to our success and enabled us to grow Gridwise to what it is today.

During this interview, you will learn three things:

How taking an abundance approach to problem-solving can help you make an impact on a global scale
That just because people don’t believe in your idea at the start doesn’t mean it has legs. Just start – start small, validate, iterate and evolve your vision from there.
Why our assumptions are sometimes totally off – and that can stop us from achieving our biggest breakthroughs in creating value
How giving something of value away can help you unlock and accelerate much larger value monetization opportunities.
For more information about the guest from this week:

Ryan Green
Website Gridwise

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Tags: AI, Entrepreneurship, Smart Cities

How technology designed to stop hacker attacks can give us a position of advantage that drives remarkable growth
Value Inspiration
June 15, 2021
Karim is a cybersecurity veteran who has worked closely with the US intelligence community for many years. He’s been at the forefront of attacker counterintelligence and infiltration research for the last decade, developing new ways for security teams to clandestinely monitor hackers and anticipate attacks before they happen.

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Tags: AI, Entrepreneurship, Startups

A story about overcoming financial challenges and growing a stronger software business by being different, not just better.
Value Inspiration
June 08, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to make difficult conversations about money, that little bit easier. My guest is Cormac O’Neill, CEO of Webio.

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Tags: AI, Entrepreneurship, Startups

A story about winning in a crowded market by focusing on being different (not better)
Value Inspiration
June 01, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to get all of us closer to professionals we value. My guest is Ashley Friedlein, CEO and Founder of Guild

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Social, Startups

A story about solving a massive global health problem by smartly leveraging and aligning technology and (ecosystem) resources.
Value Inspiration
May 25, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the potential to prevent well over half a billion females on this planet suffering from mental health problems. My guest is Michel Valstar, CEO BlueSkeye AI

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Tags: AI, Entrepreneurship, Startups

A story about staying hyper-relevant in the business software industry and a front-runner in innovation for over 25 years
Value Inspiration
May 17, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on the mindset and approach to shaping a software business that successfully plays the infinite game. My guest is Chairman and CEO of Sensory

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Tags: AI, Entrepreneurship, Innovation

A story about creating a revolution in productivity by controlling our work-environment
Value Inspiration
May 10, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give everyone of us the opportunity to deliver our best work by controlling our work-environment. My guest is Benjamin Carew, Co-founder and CEO of Othership

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Growing multiple X in Enterprise Software by switching focus towards creating a pull effect led by users
Value Inspiration
May 03, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on the approach to product innovation to grow remarkable momentum in enterprise software by creating a swell that keeps building because of bottom-up user demand. My guest is Rick Hall, CEO of Aginity

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Tags: AI, Entrepreneurship, Startups

The difference it makes when you start creating solutions that are valuable - not just interesting - in the eyes of your customers
Value Inspiration
April 26, 2021
This podcast interview focuses what product innovation should be really all about and how complacency can kick-in silently and give you a slap in the face. My guest is Mike Seidle, Co-founder and CTO at PivotCX

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Competitive power exponentially grows if we understand ‘Why’ things happened, instead of ‘What’ has happened.
Value Inspiration
April 19, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give every brand a wealth of opportunities to grow trust with their customers. My guest is Boaz Grinvald, CEO of Revuze

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

An entrepreneurial story about leveraging technology to turn the tables in Market Research
Value Inspiration
April 12, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on the story behind Pollfish – and their approach to reinvent market research for a new era by shortening cycle times to get faster, high-quality feedback from customers. My guest is John Papadakis, Founder and CEO at Pollfish

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

Measuring success by the level of impact you make on the world: It’s not about numbers – but about stories. Stories that spread.
Value Inspiration
April 06, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help us create the critical connections that can transform their world. My guest is Stephen Choi, Co-founder and CEO of Hi Right Now

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Social, Startups

The most significant societal problems can be solved when technology and good entrepreneurial spirit blend in the right way.
Value Inspiration
March 29, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to let every employee have its fair share in the capital in our society. My guest is Quintus Willemse, Co-founder, and CEO of The Share Council

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

The future for B2B tech companies is in solving wicked problems
Value Inspiration
March 22, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on the essence of the book ‘The Wicked Company’ and my guest is Markus Kirsch, FRSA, Author & Founder The Wicked Company.

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Tags: Business Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Innovation

Using focus as an engine for creating surprising growth
Value Inspiration
March 15, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to shape working environments that increase our productivity and wellness. My guest is Tim Panagos, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Microshare

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Tags: AI, Entrepreneurship, Startups

The art of building a SaaS business that’s so good, they can’t ignore you.
Value Inspiration
March 08, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on what secrets investors are looking for in B2B SaaS companies. My guest is Akeel Jabber, Investment Director and GP at HoriZen Capital

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

A story about creating extremely sticky technology that marketers actually want to use
Value Inspiration
March 01, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to change the way that marketers create. My guest is R.J. Talyor, CEO and Founder of Pattern89

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

How leveraging technology can help to eliminate bad customer support experiences from the world
Value Inspiration
February 22, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to engage your support team and empower them to do their best work. My guest is Justin Winter, Co-founder and CEO of Boostopia.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups

Mastering the art of driving a 3-4x uplift of companies coming to your website without dramatically transforming cost
Value Inspiration
February 15, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help marketers to build the meaningful relationships with the right companies. My guest is Riaz Kanani, Founder and CEO of Radiate B2B.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Startups

The art of creating technology that makes users feel good about themselves
Value Inspiration
February 08, 2021
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to radically evolve the way people search and transact property. My guest is Bobby Bryant, Founder and CEO of Doss.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups