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Ken Rutsky

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Top Stories by Ken Rutsky

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 said to myself, "If you want OUTSTANDING positioning, you must STAND OUT from the crowd." When you look around B2B technology providers, those who do stand out usually take one of three fundamental approaches to differentiation, what I call 1+1=3, Embrace and Extend, and Copy and Paste. All ca... (more)

Getting Your Head Around the SaaS Mindset

For SaaS Success, Mindset Matters Most For organizations that are launching, building or in the market with SaaS offerings, success varies widely. Many of these organizations and the people in them have roots in the software, appliance or hardware product businesses. To succeed as a SaaS provider, you have to build a great service, that's a given. But equally important, but you must transition from a product to a service mindset. If you have a product mindset in a service business, you will be blind to many of the issues that matter, and risk making poor organizational, strategic ... (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)

Tilting the Clouds to Abundance - Beating Your Competition with Value

In his seminal work 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Steven Covey introduces a concept of an Abundance Mindset, Wikipedia describes it like this: Covey coined the idea of abundance mentality or abundance mindset, a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and success to share with others. He contrasts it with the scarcity mindset (i.e., destructive and unnecessary competition), which is founded on the idea that, if someone else wins or is successful in a situation, that means you lose; not considering the possibility of all parties winning (in some way ... (more)

Check on In and Eat This Dog Food

Jim Barksdale is a pretty quotable guy, work for him for a few years like I did at Netscape and you leave with a small library of "Barksdalisms" that just stick with you.  One of Jim's sayings was, "It ain't dogfood unless the dog comes off the porch to eat it...". While Jim was making the point that you can love your product, but if the customers doesn't buy it it aint worth much, I never think Jim was intending to be taken literally.  German pet food manufacturer GranataPet did.  Watch this video of a mobile enabled dog food dispensing billboard. Kinda gets you hungry doesn't i... (more)