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Shouting in the Wind

I had a quick conversation with Sibridge’s CEO Rajesh Shah at DVcon. This was right after Synopsys had made their Discovery VIP announcement. Which was good and bad for Sibridge. The good was that it gave a point of reference. The bad is clear in how he was able to position what they do: “We basically have Discovery VIP, only three years earlier.”

It’s like being at a party and telling a great joke, only to have some other noise drown it out so that no one hears it – except for the guy next to you, who takes advantage of the next silence to retell the joke to great laughs and pats on the back while you sit there glowering.

Of course, while Mr. Shah’s comment was simple enough in the context of that moment, that’s not how you ultimately define your business – by referring to your competition. I asked him what their angle is, how they compete. First, of course, he said that their IP has been out there longer and is therefore of high quality – and may also be more cost effective. But his summary statement was this: “We simply want to be easy to do business with.”

Which can be an advantage – we’ve all known companies that inexplicably make it hard to do business. But it made me think – company size can be used to justify good service or ease-of-purchase both ways. If you’re small, then you have the focus and attention that a big company doesn’t have. If you’re big, then you have the resources that a small company doesn’t have. They can both justify why they’re the better bet.

In the end, my experience is that size alone doesn’t matter when it comes to this: only attitude matters. If a company – big or small – decides it wants to be easy to do business with, then it will be because it’s a focus. If that is not made a priority, then it won’t happen, big or small.

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