The Secret Rules of Business Success (or Failure) - Slide 15

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Successful VCs (venture capitalists) learn early on to accurately estimate the cost of success. Underfunding is actually more dangerous to a project than overfunding, but both should be avoided. There is a common tendency to focus on how much is available for a project or company rather than how much is required, and many of the failed products and services we see are the result of under-resourcing to a massive level. For instance, the cost of taking out an entrenched product in a head-on run (rather than flanking it) is roughly estimated at 10x of whatever the entrenched vendor is spending to secure their position in order to reach parity. Most firms that take on dominant vendors fail because they have not adequately estimated the cost of the successful engagement. By the way, if you thought this was a restatement of Rule 2, it is a different aspect of the same problem, and you were paying attention.

Over the last three decades, Rob Enderle has worked as an inside (ROLM/Siemens/IBM) or outside (Dataquest, Forrester, Enderle Group) technology analyst. He thought it would be interesting to share the 16 immutable rules that most people actually running tech companies don’t seem to know.

These rules define the differences between a company that is doing well, like Apple, and a company that is failing, like RIM. They anticipate the mistakes and suggest fixes to major financial, operational and PR problems the firms experience and provide a primer for anyone wanting to be successful in this segment. Many are not segment-oriented and could apply to any business at any level, but some are specific to technology.

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