If you build it, they will come

Competence: If you build it, they will come.”
John C Maxwell
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Interesting concept that.
There’s another saying… “Know you, like you, trust you.” [actually it’s, “All things being equal, people will do business with — and refer business to— those people they know, like and trust,” by Bob Burg, but I simplify it].

You may be competent, but if they don’t know you, how will they find you?
You may be competent, but if they don’t like you, they won’t want to come.

So if not just competence, what are the things in OSS that will make them come?

I believe the answer to that question is if you consistently solve your customers’ problems, then they (and others) will come. Interestingly though, in all of the vendor demonstrations I’ve seen, I don’t recall seeing one where the vendor built a story around how they have solved their customers’ biggest problems. Nor have they demonstrated an understanding of the problems facing the customer they were pitching. It’s normally built around functionality and a hope that the customer will associate the many demonstrated functions with something that can resolve their problem/s. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen.

Do you understand what your customers’ biggest problems are? Is your OSS story convincing them that your solution can competently resolve those problems? Or thinking laterally, is it even an OSS that is the best resolution of those problems?

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