Over the years at Dyn, we’ve worked incredibly hard at unifying our go-to-market (GTM) scaling with our technology and product evolution (R&D). It’s a challenge that many companies face and few master in lock-step unison. You see, one side of the equation tends to get a few steps ahead, then get a few steps behind. It’s a constant game of catch up and an area where many technical or business co-founders, especially if not a fully complimented founding team, never get past in the quest for initial startup traction.
It reminds me of the scene in the movie ‘Stand By Me’ when the kids are hiking on the train tracks, catching up to each other, falling, getting up, then running again, the train rapidly approaching. It’s not always pretty and without scrapes and bruises, but the best survive and thrive from the experience.
How do you scale your products, networks and innovation with the rapid demands that come with tremendous (and hopeful!) customer and revenue adoption? Is innovation really only possible in R&D or can you innovate GTM with new approaches, revenue plans and business models? The answer is both and together and planned.
You can’t have one without the other to be a fast-growth, sustainable business. And you’ll absolutely crumble if your internal business operations and systems don’t keep up (or better, be always one step ahead!). It’s the trick of rapid scale – everything in your business must evolve with the other fully visible and in mind. Too often this gets labeled negatively as company “change” when in the end without this adaptability, businesses literally wouldn’t scale, and inevitability fail. For Dyn to be an independent long-term franchise, we must have this eye on the 5-7 year horizon of scale, as a T-E-A-M.
Where this evolution typically breaks most is when the customer and overall market isn’t a) reached by a robust GTM engine b) satisfied by the technology once acquired. This is an area that I’ve made a living focused on. Helping startups scale. And it’s my passion to continue to build Dyn as a shining example – not from the cheap seats or an ivory tower – but the school of hard knocks.
Just today, I had the pleasure of leading a webinar for Website Magazine with one of mine and Dyn’s favorite clients, Zappos, and their Director of Technical Operations, Kris Ongbongan. Titled, “When is it Time for Your Startup to Grow Up?” is all about the game of fetch that is the scaling marriage. Kris takes us on the Zappos journey from early revenue to A BOATLOAD ($20+M in one day in 2014) and one server to 1000’s across numerous data centers worldwide.
Last week, I also had the pleasure of speaking at my alma mater, Bentley University about “The New Sales: Sales Productivity Tools, Social Selling & Real-Time Engagement”. Over the past couple of years I helped a former professor of mine, Jim Pouliopoulis, launch a B.S. in Professional Sales. Practical right? Well, the talk I gave was even more about relevancy. Today, the sales professional is expected to be as knowledgeable as the buyer in the areas of business AND technology scale. If there isn’t a value proposition around business growth, there is no rationale to buy. Understanding this marriage truly separates the wheat from the chaff.
You’ll hear Dyn continue to be a leading voice in scaling Internet Performance, but from time-to-time we’ll bring you into our internal world of scaling our business and GTM strategy. As mentioned, it’s not easy and not without missteps, but we are grateful for the customers who support the rise. In a SaaS world where customer choice for services is the driver behind purchase behavior (as well as expansion and retention), we are committed to scaling Dyn for all who rely on the Internet for content, commerce and relationships.
When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me