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Product Companies VS. Sales/Marketing Companies

After watching the Youtube video  on our ‘Innovation’ page…. where Steve Jobs discusses  the major differences between technology companies that function as Sales and Marketing organizations versus technology companies that function as …. well…as Technology Companies !  I started asking myself – “ Is Steve Jobs talking about Advent Resources Inc. ? “

To answer that , let’s first dive a little deeper into exactly what Mr. Jobs was referring to when he describes a company  that is staffed , led and driven  by their Sales and Marketing division and then compare that to a company that is led and driven  by the actual creators of that company’s technology …. THE PRODUCT PEOPLE .

Jobs spoke about IBM and Xerox during his video.  Two technology companies  that have failed their client-base by allowing themselves to be taken over (from within) by their Sales/Marketing arm.  Once gaining the upper hand within the organization – Sales and Marketing  simply  “granted” themselves more and more power…. until one day they were no longer a true ‘Technology’ company , but rather became a Sales and Marketing company – that sold technology .

Let’s step even further outside our vertical for a look at a company that bears a striking resemblance  to several major players within our own battle space :

Electronic Arts (EA) is the dominant presence within the Video Gaming vertical.  These people are HUGE…. and they used to be good.

EA produced some of the greatest video games of the time and was the clear market leader that led the gaming industry into the mainstream .  Electronic Arts was the innovator , they were the product people and they were the guys that took pride in a true working relationship with their clients.  Gamer input  was welcomed by EA’s  software engineers , and that input was regularly built into the game’s next release.  But times changed ….

Consumers began making demands !  Outrageous !  They wanted , now , cutting edge graphics , the latest  physics  algorithms  (how a player moves) as well as “outside the box” thinking when it came  to story telling.

So what’s the industry’s  giant suppose to do ?  How can EA continue  to offer their clients  the new and innovative products they’re demanding  today…. and into the future ?

Their answer was a common one :  Purchase smaller competing  studios  that ARE offering their clients  product innovation , that ARE working closely with the gamers to improve their product.

EA bought ‘em all right – and introduced the newly acquired studios  to their New Sales and Marketing MASTERS .   Electronic Arts did this over and over  , snatching up the industry’s Brain Trust.  All the innovators all the Product people all the world-class software engineers… became EA people.  People that suddenly answered  to Sales VP’s and Marketing Directors .  Failure ahead !

No longer was it about offering the best product , but rather about firm release dates , cost cutting , optics and marketability …. Not the product.   Not the client . It became soley about how to market and sell whatever product they had and never about how good the product actually was .

“ The product’s not good ? “  “ The product doesn’t work? “  “ Sales and Marketing will handle that…..”

As Steve Jobs alluded to – this approach cannot work in the technology arena.   Enhancing one’s innovation and Product offering by PURCHASING  that  innovation from others within the same vertical is absurd.  Re-branding it as your own , creating “interfaces”  for some semblance  of compatibility and losing any relevant ability to modify that technology as clients demand in the future is not serving your industry and not serving your clientele .  It’s self-serving and nothing more.  It’s Sales and Marketing 101.

  • There’s a ‘given’ in the business world , one that holds particular relevance  for the Dealership  Management Software  industry :   As a company’s market share increases to the point of dominance , the ability and desire to innovate and build great products decreases . Exponentially .

Enter Advent Resources Inc.  A Product company .  An innovator in the dealership management software  vertical for 26 years and counting.

Advent Resources’  is owned and run by two individuals :  Ysidro Salinas and Tim Gill who’s views regarding Software Development and Customer Service  have dictated our direction from the beginning….and that dictate exists today just as forcefully as it did 26 years ago.

You want ‘better’ and ‘different’ from your DMS provider ?  Ysidro Salinas creates Code for the Advent Resources platform daily. Every day .   Each day Ysidro leads a team of software engineers through that day’s development  protocol. He leads them not through words…. but through hands-on  example.  Ysidro  produces as much software development for our clients on a daily basis as our Lead Engineer !  Could you even imagine a man like that turning over Product decisions to a Sales & Marketing  team ?

Tim Gill is the other half that helps set Advent Resources Inc. apart from the crowd.   A daily ‘Pursuit of Quality’ is how Tim describes his role.  Tim allocates our resources internally , collaborates with our clients on a daily basis about improvements and enhancements  to the platform and helps direct software engineering  on dealership work-flow and process.  Tim is also instrumental in deciding where Advent  should “invest their money” within the organization…..

“ Over half of our staff are Software Engineers , our R&D budget is triple  the industry average as a percentage of revenue… and has been so for over 20 years.”  –  Tim Gill

THAT’S how it’s done.  That’s how a technology Product company REMAINS a Product company for the long haul .  It all boils down to who’s driving that particular bus …. and how good they are at driving .

I urge you to watch Steve Job’s short 2 minute video again on our Innovation page ,  re-apply his thoughts to the Dealership Management Software vertical….. and never forget :

  • There’s a ‘given’ in the business world , one that holds particular relevance  for the Dealership  Management Software  industry :   As a company’s market share increases to the point of dominance , the ability and desire to innovate and build great products decreases . Exponentially .