Friday, July 17, 2009

Unclear on the Value Prop

I just got off the phone with a sales guy for a partner program. Think about that for a minute. Large company - like - Samsung-large. Or GE. BIG company. They have a partner program to encourage people to write software for their platform (say, they want more people to make lampshades that compliment the soft white lightbulbs.)  

So, they found me, lampshade maker extraordinaire. And NO ONE asks me about the light bulbs when I sell a lampshade. No one. But, they want to convince me that I should build lampshades that really help their light bulbs.. pardon the pun.. shine.  So, I get sample bulbs and color swatches and translucency guides and all sorts of stuff that I don't really need. 

But this guy, on the phone - he is employed by the lightbulb people, at a salary, to SELL me this program for, say, $2K/year.  Why are you even doing this, I ask him. Why? 

His reply is that they want to drive better lampshades, which will, in turn, increase the sale of their lightbulb. Except that no one has ever asked me if my lampshade works with any particular lightbulb. They just ask if they work with lamps! And, I can't recommend a lampshade as "optimized for soft white lightbulbs" since no one cares. So someone is being paid to convince me to spend money on a program that has no value to me - and precious little value to him! 

What's the point? I imagine somewhere inside LightBulb, Inc. they decided that they needed a better ecosystem, and that no one takes bulbs seriously until they become a "home decor" company, so having decor companies partner with them and putting little "now, for soft white!" stickers on their stuff will turn them into a home decor firm, rather than just the guys with the bulbs. 

Corporate. Sigh. 

1 comment:

Priya said...

and then they tell their customers, buy my bulbs because if you do we'll give away a free lampshade! leading with the light bulb... so not the right strategy.