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I was reading a great blog post that Mark Suster wrote in 2010 this week. He was explaining that start-ups could increase their chances of VC investment by going in as early as possible to investors, just to give them a base level (a dot) of where their business was and what their plans for the future were.

Invest in Lines not Dots
A single meeting gives you a dot

When the start-up team then went back in again for their pitch proper, they would be able to demonstrate progress forward from their original meeting (a line) and this could add value to their proposal. This progress might be around revenues, or product development, or new clients.

It got me thinking about how businesses looking at investing in cloud technologies should also assess their potential providers.

Invest in Lines not Dots
A series of meetings gives you trajectory and velocity

By creating an RFP document, bringing in all the best vendors (cloud and on-premise) you'll get a nice snapshot of where everyone is today with their product (a dot). But what you will miss is the trajectory of that business, and its velocity.

Is it a well rounded product that is stagnating? Is it a young start-up but developing fast? Is it an established business with fantastic vision and execution.

If you are thinking of buying any cloud technologies over the next 12 months, whether contact centre solutions, CRM, Email systems or accounts - get in to see the suppliers now. Establish a base point for their product, their revenues, their clients. When you kick off your project later in the year you'll be able to ascertain their trajectory and velocity, and I'm sure that will be very valuable in your decision making process.

Do you take trajectory and velocity into account when purchasing? How does purchasing cloud services differ from buying boxes?

I hope you have enjoyed this post, if so we'd love to hear your comments. Please also take the time to read Mark's original post - Invest in Lines not Dots.

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About Charlie Cowan

Charlie is passionate about cloud computing and how it can help real businesses to run more profitably.

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