From the Monday Note: Breaking Laws

Scott Francis
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The Monday Note has a great piece on the Laws that Apple is breaking with it’s latest quarterly results.  The thing is, we hear these critiques leveled against much smaller companies all the time.

At BP3, let me just relate how we think about each law:

Law 1: Larger size makes growth increasingly difficult.

Well, the law of large numbers obviously shouldn’t apply to a smaller company like BP3, but yet, people often tell me how our growth will stall out.  We heard it as we approached 5 people, 10 people, 25 people, 50 people… We’ll hear it again at 100.

What I’ve found, instead, is that as we get larger, we’re able to invest in activities that make revenue more predictable and higher quality.  Business development, marketing, branding, are all luxuries of a larger company.

Law 2: Everything becomes a commodity

Well, if you want to hear this one a lot, try to sell professional services for a living.  We’ve been hearing this since day 1, and especially after IBM bought Lombardi – with the assumption that all these massive consulting companies would challenge us for supremacy in BPM.  This is the same argument leveled against Apple and their products.  And yet, Apple increased their ASP last quarter over the year ago quarter, while everyone else’s ASP (Average Selling Price) declined.  We’re experiencing the same phenomenon, because we’ve invested in technology and methods to differentiate ourselves.

Our differentiation has grown over time.  And it shows up in our investments.  It isn’t a coincidence that Brazos is the best UI for BPM out there – it is a direct result of BP3 having the team that best understands BPM.  It isn’t a coincidence that Neches came from the BP Labs team at BP3, rather than some other company in the BPM ecosystem.

More than just technology, however, we’ve improved our methods.  We’ve consistently delivered more successful and reference-able customers.  And if customers want to work with the best team in the business, it is increasingly obvious who that is.

Law 3: Market share always wins.

This law is more relevant to Apple, perhaps, than BP3.  But in our context, this would imply that BP3 should be losing to the big generalist consulting firms and product firms. But we believe that a laser focus on BPM and customer experience is a great way to combat the benefits of market share.  And this one may, in some respects, be turning in our favor.  An analyst at Forrester expressed the opinion that BP3 might be the largest independent BPM consultancy in the world, and I’m inclined to agree.

All right, back to the business of making customers happy!

 

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