Sep 21, 2009

No Business Developement (or, Hackable Business Development)

We have a saying at betaworks - "no business development allowed."

Of course, it's tongue in check and we don't really mean it (well, maybe we do), but it represents the application of one of our core business scaling principles. Namely, find a way to scale usage of a service or application that doesn't rely on formal business deals. Those deals - "business development" as it were - take too many cycles relative to unknown value to be truly effective at the early stages. Too long to find the partner, get to know them, structure and paper a relationship, and then implement.

Instead, we focus on ways to work with other services, companies or applications at the data level. Where complementary data sets - utilized via API - can enhance or supplement or supercharge your service, and can be implemented quickly and without any company-company intervention or interaction (no human contact allowed). Jon Steinberg has an awesome piece called Hackable Business Development which is in some ways profound in its simplicity but represents something vitally important:

If you’re interested in a platform or service from an intellectual, career, or partnership prospective, you simply must build on it.
"You simply must build upon it." Just fucking do it.

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