tirsdag den 13. august 2013

The Role of Business Development in Startups


Excerpt from blogpost by Andrew Dumont, Business Development at Moz. Creator of Stride.

…in it’s simplest form, BD can be described as connecting similar businesses to similar goals.

But that’s overly simplified. Digging in a bit deeper, I’ve found that BD at startups can be distilled down to 2 primary responsibilities.


1) Filtering The kryptonite for any startup is a lack of focus. Regardless of your size or scale, you’re likely to receive endless requests to “partner”. As cool as that sounds, 9 times out of 10, it’s likely not going to be beneficial. The majority of people don’t do their research or take the time to really understand the businesses that they’re looking to partner with. As a BD, one of your primary roles is knowing how to sniff out the requests that are going to derail you from your mission and spot the ones that can take your business to the next level. Likewise, the BD plays the role of the connector for the requests that make it through the filter – connecting the right people together and driving a deal through to completion.

2) Building BD at startups is based around company goals. Goals can be specific things like building a platform of 3rd party apps (in the case of Seesmic) or broader things like making check-ins derive real world value (in the case of Foursquare). In terms of execution, the thought process is the same. That goal is the finish line, and the role of BD is to fill the gap in the middle. The gap is filled by determining which companies can help your startup achieve your goal and most importantly, how can you help bring them closer to their goals. If the latter isn’t satisfied, then it’s a deal that shouldn’t be done. Once you determine the companies that fulfill both, the building begins. Looking into the Foursquare example a bit deeper, the goal of Foursquare was to derive real world value from their check-ins. The goal of Amex was to drive visibility to a large base and to increase the value for current cardholders. Both sides were satisfied, and a deal was born. The tactical work is the in-between.