Friday, July 06, 2007

A small step forward

I received a cheque from a customer recently. The amount wasn’t huge, but to me it signified an important milestone.

Apparently, this customer X is the owner of a rather well-known company. Several weeks ago, I received an email from him requesting a trial version of my product. Normally, I would not give out trial version as I was quite paraniod about piracy and hacking. So I offered to go down to his office to give a live demo of my product. Upon reaching his office, I gave X a demo on my product’s functionalities and he was quite impressed. But X seemed to be a rather cautious person and requested that I tested my product with his company’s database. So he led me to his desk and I proceed to install the system onto his PC.

To my surprise, I saw a few of my competitors’ software on his desktop. Obviously, X had researched and tested quite a few of my competitors’ trial version before he came to me. This was rather uncommon to me because most of my customers would not do that much “homework”. So after the installation, X proceed to test out my product with his own database and much to my relief everything worked well. After the demo, I had a chat with X. Apparently X had previously bought a similar product from one of my competitor but only to find the product extremely buggy. I wasn’t surprised as this competitor’s product is the cheapest amongst all, and I myself had tested it before. Thus, this time round, X was more cautious and decided to test out a few similar products before making the decision to purchase.

A few weeks later, I received a purchase order from X. Though the revenue from this single deal wasn’t much, I viewed it as a significant victory because X had decided to purchase from my company after some detailed comparison among my competitors. It shows that our product is able to withstand competition from some of the bigger and older boys in the industry.

Sometimes, I feel like a toddler who is curiously and eagerly exploring the world. Every little step forward is a significant moment.

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