Educating the market about new technology categories – do we have to, to be successful?

Value PropositionLast week I interviewed a tech-entrepreneur about the key learnings of bringing transformative solutions to market. He made one argument: ‘We were challenged with growing momentum because the market was not aware or informed well enough about the category we are in.’ My immediate reaction was: Do they need to be?

Are we making up excuses?

I hear the argument a lot. Often as an excuse: “They are not ready for AI in [name your domain] yet.” “They don’t understand what [name your category] is about. The question is: Should they?

Does a customer first need to understand the category or the tech to be genuinely interested? Isn’t this taking the focus away from what matters: Solving a problem in a remarkable way?

It’s the buzz – but for whom?

The complication is in the difference of what drives us and what drives our customers. Too often, we get too hung up on the technology buzz and the fact ‘we’re in that game as well.’ The question is: For whom? Often it’s driven by the fear of being left out. Not being recognized by the big analyst firms. To sugarcoat our company to ‘raise its valuation’ for a potential exit we are working on. Or simply because we have lost the connection with the market.

What is… and What can be?

What if you’d focus on convincing your customer about ‘what can be,’ i.e., what transformational results they can achieve by approaching their most significant and most critical problems differently? What if you focus on exceeding their expectations? Don’t you think that will start a meaningful conversation? If they then ask ‘what’s the secret to what I just saw?’ then you can always enlighten them about your approach. But the promise (the outcome) and realization of the problem comes first.

What if we’d start with the end?

Turning your focus will help your ideal customers find you – rather than hunting for them in the wild. If you are convincing enough about ‘what can be,’ they will likely ask for proof. That’s then about connecting your prospective customers with your advocates. That takes out the risk, builds the trust. You don’t need to ‘the whole market’ to be ready of [name your tech] or aware of [name your category]’ for that.

What’s your POV?