What is the Pit in Your Cherry?
Posted by Bob Warfield on December 2, 2008
Another great pithy idea from Seth Godin: cherries can be seedless, but they cannot be pitless. Without the pit, there is no cherry. He doesn’t require the pit to be unpleasant, it’s just the nucleus that must exist for the rest of the fruit (or institution) can be built around it.
For Enterprise Software startups, the pit is the referencible customer. Without those references, it’s just too hard to sell enough customers to be economically interesting. Moreover, most enterprise software needs segmented pits. Sell a good reference or two in a market segment and you’re ready to roll up the rest of that market segment much more easily.
Bringing the absolute focus required to get the references is the hard work of an early stage startup. It requires focus on small segments and not broad shotgun blasts to succeed. That focus (decide who you don’t care to appeal to) has been an essential part of the strategies Godin espouses.