How SMBs Beat Enterprise to the Best Tools

6 Jan

Every other day it seems I read about a startup disrupting or democratizing something. In essence, these startups aim to change the status quo (hopefully for the better) by providing people and businesses with products and services that they might not otherwise have had. Where the flattening of this curve really takes place is in the long tail, where expensive things like cloud infrastructure and data analytics are becoming cheaper and more accessible.

While the decrease of price is generally a positive, there’s something else that’s not being talked about: speed. When a startup builds a product, they need to prove it will sell. Fast. Small businesses are filled with entrepreneurs, risk takers, and visionaries. They are quick to test something, and even quicker to give you feedback. And for a fair price, they’ll pay you.

Larger enterprise accounts are the pretty girl at the dance. They want you to customize features. They want to hear from 10 other large customers. They think they already know everything, that’s why they’re big and you’re small. Every communication is lined with the subtlety of, “… maybe we’ll just build it ourselves.” Of course the person at the top of the ladder is likely not the person who had to churn out 80 hour weeks building the business, but that doesn’t matter. They are in control.

This is why we continue to see some of the newest, coolest products entering the market from the bottom up, especially in retail. We predict that this trend will aggressively continue with the growth of cloud and data availability, and smaller chains and independents will have better tools than their enterprise counterparts in 2016. Knowing what we do about the systems and tools some of the large enterprise retailers/restaurants use, this is a low hurdle to jump.