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Ken Rutsky

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Top Stories by Ken Rutsky

Many ISVs are making dramatic shifts to become SaaS providers. This requires a shift in mindset from product to service and in organization from linear to circular. Once these shifts are under way, in order to succeed and stand out, ISVs we must now bridge their go-to-market strategy, objectives and tactics from Evaluation to Experience. Today's customer has little patience for white papers, datasheets, detailed feature function product specs and the like. They may attend a webinar, but the next step is experience. Even for large organizations with complex buying behavior, the expectation of SaaS is an easy, accessible and meaningful experience of the service, either through demonstration instances, trial or freemium models. In a post in November 2010 entitled, "Meet the New Enterprise Customer, He's a Lot Like the Old Enterprise Customer", Ben Horowitz of Andreesso... (more)

Glider Bikes to SaaS Success

Owen, my youngest, is a typical 3 1/2 year old boy, energetic, physical and fearless. He's been riding on a glider bike for the last year, and loves to blast down hills with his feet in the air, scaring the daylights out of his Dad. For those of you unfamiliar with glider bikes, it's basically a pedal-less two-wheeler that you propel like a scooter with your feet. I've been watching him scoot around on his glider wondering how he would do with pedals, would he need training wheels at all?? Would he be faster than his three older siblings at getting on a "real" two-wheeler? (They... (more)

Poking Through the Clouds

About five years ago, I had the pleasure of sitting through sales training with John Costigan. I remember John's opening as he said something like, "How are you?" and got the typical quiet reaction. John went on to say something like, "when I am asked, I say "OUTSTANDING" and you should too. Because to STAND OUT, you MUST BE OUTSTANDING." Fast forward to last week, when I was having a discussion on positioning with a very successful entrepreneur turned VC. He said, "The only way to win in today's markets is to STAND OUT, create something new." Immediately I thought of John and s... (more)

How to Build Cloud Brand and Demand

Walk into just about any Cloud marketing team today, and you will see a very large focus on marketing automation. This is the tip of the iceberg that has been building since the dawn of Google and Direct email, or for about a decade. Let's call that time AG for After Google. That AG iceberg is the maniacal focus on demand over brand, on lead generation over messaging, on revenue over valuation. This focus makes a lot of sense, especially in a crowded and newly developing market, marketing MUST drive revenue, because revenue drive valuation, growth and access to capital, and feed... (more)

Why Experience Will Be Key to 2012 Cloud Sales and Marketing

When I was a wet behind the ears sales rep in the Rolling Meadow's Illinois branch office in 1986 (yes, they had computers back then :)), I remember the big sign that hung on the wall: Calls + Demos = Sales Our office sold everything from PCs to copiers (yes, IBM sold copiers) to mini computers (S34, 36, 38, and later AS/400 and RS6000s) and the biggest S360 Mainframes. Though the sign belonged to the "Office Machines", i.e., Copiers, team, I quickly learned in my territory of small manufacturers and distributors, the key to selling the minicomputer lay in not just having the r... (more)