Community Resources

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: “Is this going to destroy the company? If not, let them test it.”

When it comes to launching your product, imperfect is perfect. Sometimes, the most important question you can ask isn’t, “Is this good enough?” Rather, you can emulate Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and ask, “Is this going to destroy the company? If not, then let them test it!”

That’s just one of the many counter-intuitive, genius-level lessons Mark casually provides in today’s episode of the Masters of Scale podcast (released the day before Mark gives his first Harvard commencement speech). I sat down with Mark for a rare 90-minute interview and I learned a few things I never knew about him — from the first social network he ever launched (that would be ZuckNet), to the long bus ride from school that started him thinking about online social behavior, to one of his proudest accomplishments (the testing framework that lets Facebook keep innovating).

I’ve long believed that if you’re not embarrassed by your first product release, you’ve released too late. This is one of the secrets behind successful blitzscaling, and Mark embodies this approach. He explains how they’re able to run 10,000 versions of Facebook at any given time, and surprise guest Sheryl Sandberg explains why — when a summer intern accidentally crashed the entire Facebook website for half an hour — they hired him, instead of firing him (That intern certainly lived up to Facebook’s original mantra of “move fast and break things”).

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What’s The Difference?: EOL, EOSL, EOA, EOS

When a particular vendor schedules hardware for End of Service Life, it can be a difficult time for the customers who use those products on a daily basis.

Not only do you have to worry about what that means for the future of your EMC or NetApp products, but you also have a variety of different dates to keep track of in your head. EOSL, EOL, EOS and EOA are all abbreviations that are incredibly important to know. Keeping track of exactly what these abbreviations mean will go a long way towards helping you make the right decisions moving forward. So what exactly is the difference between all these different terms?

EOL stands for “End of Life,” which essentially means that a vendor like EMC has decided that the product in question has reached the end of its “useful lifespan.” After this particular date the manufacturer will no longer be marketing, sustaining and (in most cases) selling the product in question.

EOS stands for “end of sale.” As its name suggests, it is a date after which you will no longer be able to purchase the product in question directly from a manufacturer like NetApp or EMC. Even though you may still be able to get the product through other third-party vendors, the product itself will no longer be offered from its original company as it had been in the past. This is also commonly referred to as EOA, or “end of availability.”

Enterprise customers can choose a few different techniques when a particular array reaches End of Life status. The first involves purchasing extended support, which usually comes in six month increments for a total period of two years. Employing third party providers for the same support may be more ideal, however, thanks largely to the fact that businesses can save anywhere between 50% to 80% of the cost while still arriving at the same benefits. The major benefits of third party extended support include rapid service, access to expert support professionals and the ability to both meet and (in many cases) exceed the terms in the original provider’s service level agreement.

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You Don’t Have to Fully Embrace ABM to Reap Some of the Benefits

Account-Based Marketing (or ABM for short) is all the rage these days. It comes up in more than half of my inquiries as of late and it’s certainly on the radar for 2017 for many more clients.

Julian Poulter and I will be publishing several detailed notes in Q1 featuring best practices and real-world results from technology providers who have been utilizing ABM strategies for a year or more. But as I will tell anyone who listens (and many who don’t), ABM isn’t something to take lightly. It can be a radical shift in the way a tech company goes to market and it entails a lot of work and requires alignment not only between sales and marketing, but also with the executive team and even the board. So the internal dynamics may not be right for every company to think about employing ABM in 2017.

But even if you can’t lean heavily into ABM for a while, that doesn’t mean you can’t employ some ABM-like strategies and reap some of the potential benefits, as long as you are willing to think a little bit outside of the box. Most ABM programs start with account selection or identification, meaning you pick the accounts you want to include in the program. No account selection, no ABM program right? Well, not so fast.

One of the key tenets of ABM (and potentially the scariest for demand gen leaders and CMOs) is that you have to think about the world from the perspective of an account, rather than a lead. That means that your follow-up and outreach for inbound leads also potentially changes. In an ABM world, MQLs become far less important. You may choose to not have an SDR call someone with a high-engagement score because you are looking at the entire account or conversely, you may choose to call someone that has a lower engagement score because you know other people from that account are engaged and you want to invite that person to a personalized event.

But there is nothing that says you can’t do the same thing with a traditional demand gen (meaning non-ABM) program. I have a new research note called “Tech Go-to-Market: Contact Strategies Need to be Viewed Through an Account-Centric (Rather Than Lead-Centric Lens” (registration required) around that specific topic. Most significant B2B purchases are purchased by a team of people, not an individual, but traditional lead scoring strategies (and the associated outreach) are based on the individual.

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Show Me the Money (value of a dollar, part II)

There were some great comments on my previous post: “Let your conscience be your guide – a $25 reminder for all of us.” It was a lesson drawn from a simple experience of getting back $25 on a car rental.

I was struck by the many comments around “spend money in business like it’s your own” and it made me start to think about when I first picked up this idea. When did I really start to understand the true value of a dollar as well as how, as a business owner, you should think about the products you sell?

These lessons were brilliantly taught to me by my boss a long time ago. When I was 16, I worked in a golf retail shop. In addition to selling stuff, I also was responsible for the stocking, cleaning, and inventory security for hundreds of golf clubs, balls, clothes and accessories.

One afternoon our boss called an all-hands meeting for the team for the following morning. We didn’t know what it was about, but when I arrived at the store, I stood in the doorway and looked around, confused. At first, I was not sure what the heck was going on. Every item in the entire store had what appeared to be a piece of paper taped to it.

As the green paper came into focus and the image became clear, I stepped back and took in the entire picture. Each one of the hundreds of pieces of inventory was taped with $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills…every item in the store meticulously tagged with the approximate dollar value of that item. I can still see it in amazing detail in my memory, 30 years later.

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E-commerce Makes B2B Sales Teams Stronger

Don’t think of e-commerce as an alternative to traditional sales methods. Think of it as a way to make your existing sales channels more effective.

Some people think that launching a B2B e-commerce initiative is a sure-fire way to draw the ire of the sales team. After all, doesn’t an investment in e-commerce signify the beginning of a competition with more traditional sales functions?

Not exactly.

Don’t think about e-commerce as an alternative to traditional sales methods. Instead, in order to take your business to the next level, you’d be much better off thinking about how e-commerce can be used to reinforce all of your existing sales channels—making them more effective.

According to a recent study, 81% of shoppers spend time researching products on the web before they pull the trigger and finalize a transaction. In the B2B world, the numbers are even higher: 94% of B2B customers do the same before tapping into the company purse.

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Why Should You Buy Juniper Certified Pre-Owned?

Improve your network using Pre-Owned, less expensive hardware officially Certified by Juniper Networks. All Certified Pre-Owned hardware purchased through this program carry the exact same warranty* as the corresponding new product(s), and is eligible for Juniper Care support & services.

If purchasing new hardware is simply not an option due to budget limitations, Juniper Certified Pre-Owned hardware can be purchased for a fraction of what you would pay for new hardware. As an added bonus, all Juniper Pre-Owned JCPO hardware are eligible for the award-winning 24?7 mission critical support provided by Juniper Care, unless stated otherwise.

All Juniper Certified Pre-Owned hardware carry the exact same warranty as the corresponding new Juniper hardware. Used networking hardware purchased from other sources are NOT warranted by Juniper Networks. Trust only Juniper Certified Pre-Owned. For information on warranty terms & conditions for a specific product, visit juniper.net.

* End-of-production hardware (which is hardware that is no longer being manufactured, but still eligible for possible Juniper support), carries a 12 month hardware warranty where Juniper will use commercially reasonable efforts to ship the replacement hardware within twenty (20) business days after receipt of the product at a Juniper Networks Repair Center including Dead on Arrival (“DOA”) hardware. Customers who have purchased end-of-production hardware can choose to buy, if available, Juniper Care Core, Core Plus (Return To Factory (“RTF”) 10 day service) and upon pre-approval Next Business Day Delivery (ND) support services, but only at the time of their JCPO hardware purchase.

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Venture Atlanta Unveils Tech Companies Selected to Pitch at the South’s Premier Investor Conference

With over $1.8 billion in funding awarded to date, Venture Atlanta is the largest Southern tech showcase, networking and deal-making event.

Venture Atlanta, the South’s premier technology innovation event, announced today the 32 companies selected to present at its annual investor conference to be held November 2-3 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Now in its 16th year, Venture Atlanta has earned a reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow’s cutting-edge technologies while helping to launch over 350 companies and secure over $1.8 billion in funding. This year’s presenters comprise a strong roster of both early and venture stage companies-showcasing the depth, breadth and opportunity within the region’s technology community.

Over the years, Venture Atlanta has served as a launch pad for many of today’s successful technology companies, including Azalea Health, CloudSherpas (now Accenture), Ionic Security, Kabbage, PinDrop Security, Salesfusion, Springbot and Roadie.

“We had a record number of entries this year and the caliber of companies selected is unprecedented-we’re thrilled to have them present at what is certain to be a sold-out event, with a record number of venture capitalists in attendance,” said Dale Kirkland, managing director at Silicon Valley Bank and also the Venture Atlanta 2016 selection chair. “We’re eager to connect key investors to the most intriguing tech companies to accelerate their innovation and growth. This year’s cohort will fortify Atlanta’s and the South’s stature as one the best places to start and grow a technology business while showcasing the region’s leadership in the HeathTech, info security, marketing tech and FinTech markets.”

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Hackers Stole $80 Million from a Central Bank because it Had $10 Routers and No Firewall

Bangladesh’s central bank was vulnerable to hackers because it did not have a firewall and used second-hand, $10 switches to network computers connected to the SWIFT global payment network, an investigator into one of the world’s biggest cyber heists said.

The shortcomings made it easier for hackers to break into the system earlier this year and attempt to siphon off nearly $1 billion using the bank’s SWIFT credentials, said Mohammad Shah Alam, head of the Forensic Training Institute of the Bangladesh police’s criminal investigation department.

“It could be difficult to hack if there was a firewall,” Alam said.

The lack of sophisticated switches, which can cost several hundred dollars or more, also means it is difficult for investigators to figure out what the hackers did and where they might have been based, he added. The institute Alam heads includes a cyber crime division.

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