Consumer applications are out there in their numbers. It takes a lot of effort for users to find them. The few once that make it to mainstream have been able to do so partly because they solve a real problem that users find useful. In the standard word-of-mouth model, you have to allow users to try the product, if users find the product useful, they evangelize it everyone they know, some of the users who are being evangelized to tries it as well. The cycle continues especially if the users keep talking about it. Some entrepreneurs believe that marketing should not be a problem if you build a remarkable product. Robert Stephens believes that “Marketing is a Tax You Pay for being Unremarkable”.
Bessemer’s Top 10 Laws for Being “SaaS-y” has a lot to say about Enterprise applications. I don’t know whether the same statement may apply to enterprise applications. In a business to business application, the message has to be made clear to the businesses the product is targeted at. Startups that depend on sales representatives should be able to work out the cost of acquiring customers effectively. Can an enterprise application depend solely on customer referrals because the product is remarkable? VC funded businesses must have very scalable customer acquisition opportunities to bring in the customers that can translate into revenues.Ben Yoskovitz has outlined lessons for founders who want to pursue enterprise software.Lessons Learned Running a SaaS Business .One of the biggest challenges with enterprise software is adoption — getting customers to actually use what you’ve sold them. A lot of companies don’t like to buy from startups who call themselves enterprise 2.0. There’s more risk involved. What happens if you go out of business,especially when a crucial part of the business process is being handled by the startup.Enterprise 2.0 Startups – Know Your Market is a good start for enterprise application development.