Great question. It's a good question. I don't have a simple canned response to that, I think. I would say probably doesn't affect the makeup of the founding team or determine success. But I think... the journey of any founder, right, you know, we talked a lot about, you know, product/market fit. And most people know what that means. And then people started talking about founder/product fit, or founder/market fit. You know, do you understand your market? Does this market speak to you and motivate you enough to spend the next 10 years of your life building a product market.
I think there's probably also a concept of sort of, you know, sales motion/market/product fit. In other words, this sales motion, all of these things, I guess, the bottom line is all these things have to be aligned. Who the founders are, what the product is, what the price is, how it's packaged up and delivered, how it's marketed and sold and purchased. All those things have to make sense, and have to be aligned. And I think the journey of any company, of any founder, is to map that universe and try to understand what's my best path to fast growth?
And I'll give you an example. We have a company, our portfolio that sells automation software to the oil and gas industry. And the oil and gas industry is, ... we have same exact dynamic in the healthcare industry. So oil and gas and healthcare are two markets that have for the most part. (there's a lot of innovative startups and a lot of innovative purchases of tech) but for the most part, the majority of buyers, and IT executives in those industries have a pretty set notion of how they're going to buy software, and how they want that software sold and how they want that software priced.
And we're having this back and forth actually, in both companies, we're having a constant tension between the VCs who are like Silicon Valley VCs who want to see the company ARR, recurring revenue, per user per seat, whatever usage-based pricing. And the customers who say - 'no, I just like, I would like to pay you for a 10 year license'. Right? And that's complicated. 'And I would rather pay you for professional services than for license'.
And [startup] CEOs - 'I'm happy to give away services for free. But I need to charge you for the software'
- 'Like I can't pay you for software, but I can pay as much as you want for professional services'.
- 'But it's the same thing?'.
- 'No, no, I want to buy it this way'.
So there is a process that all companies have to undertake of aligning themselves with the way their market wants to buy and maybe very gently and gradually educating people in their market as maybe there's a better way to do this. Maybe there's a more efficient way to do this.
To get back to your question, I think, sometimes a founding team has a pretty good idea, or can get a pretty good idea pretty quickly about what this is going to look like. An it's almost like it's almost like dropping a rock star into entourage, right? We know we're going to need a sound guy, we know we're gonna need a lighting guy, we know we're going to need a bunch of roadies, we know we're going to need, you know, all of this infrastructure around us. And we'll just drop, whether it's Madonna, or Springsteen or Beyonce, it doesn't matter, you can just drop that person in, and it'll all work fine, right. And then other times, you really find yourself struggling to figure out exactly what the path is going to be. And how your market operates. And this is especially the case when the markets never seen anything like it before. So for example, in the healthcare example I was giving you, they're selling remote patient management and monitoring solutions. They're basically competing with system integrators, there's no software vendor, certainly no established software vendors that provide what they provide. So customers can't even imagine that you can provide this out of the box configurable self-service, it doesn't even occur to them that you could do. So there's a lot of education that has to go on.