The recent demise of Wave causes IT buyers concern. What else might Google discontinue? While it seems unlikely that they’ll stop offering Google Apps what if they did? As a result, IT buyers are reluctant to put business data on any of Google’s apps.
It once seemed logical to put all employees on Gmail instead of hassling with Exchange but now I don’t know.
Say what you will about Microsoft, it’s clear that they will continue to support the business products that they offer--Outlook, Exchange, Sharepoint--and it’s not always so clear for other vendors. Can I trust Apple’s MobileMe? Can I trust Google’s Gmail? I know I can trust Microsoft Exchange.
Your buyers are asking these questions too… about your products. Should we go with [new thing that is better] or stick with [old thing that is stable]? Perhaps that’s why roadmaps are so popular with enterprise buyers. They want to see that you have a plan beyond the current release, for at least a couple of years. See Creating the Right Product Roadmap for more on this.
I love Posterous (rhymes with “preposterous”), the tool I use to dash off blog entries with embedded photos, video, music, attachments of any kind; my blog entries are forwarded to my “official” blog at www.productmarketing.com. But what is the Posterous business model? How will they make money? How will they survive as a business? I love the tool but can I run a business on it? (I’m told they make money from adding their referral codes to product links so if you’re not getting revenue from Amazon and others, they will.)
Sure, the product is valuable but is the business sustainable?
Pricing has to do with the value that you deliver today; roadmaps reveal the value into the future. For business products, evaluators of business solutions need to understand both. Do you deliver enough value now? And will you be around after they’ve committed their business to your product?