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Tony Li 12/5/2012 | 1:26:01 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life'
I would be happy to, but I suspect that anything that I say will be taken as an unintended insult by others.

Let me just point out that your executive staff needs to have strong, existing relationships with customers who are not going bankrupt, freezing their CapEx, or are going to be under SEC investigation.

Tony
lr_fanny 12/5/2012 | 1:26:01 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' "We had a good, working product, we had buy-in from the customers at the engineering level, but we were unable to achieve traction at the executive level." - Li

Tony:
As you state above you did not get executive traction. I am in a start-up and a marketing guy (not sales guy), and we are attempting to work at both levels. Our product pretty much sells itself to the engineer level because it is cool and has a great list of features. We are looking at the exec level as a completely differernt positioning challenge. I believe that in a service provider sales strategy, exec traction is an absolute must. But how? It is not a technology thing at all.

Can you please share some things about what you would have done differently with respect to your lack of exec traction?
tsat 12/5/2012 | 1:26:00 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life'
Federal Government... no shareholders to worry about. no accountability (CIA) ... Unlimited War on Terror gravy train! (DoD)

They are the SEC...

-tsat

... customers who are not going bankrupt, freezing their CapEx, or are going to be under SEC investigation.

In the past three years, were there customers that didn't fall into one of those categories?
Stevery 12/5/2012 | 1:26:00 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' ... customers who are not going bankrupt, freezing their CapEx, or are going to be under SEC investigation.

In the past three years, were there customers that didn't fall into one of those categories?
waltb 12/5/2012 | 1:26:00 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' Hey Fanny,
Suggest you search the Article Talk archives under Photuris & SBC for an excellent piece on Exec Mktg by Stephenpcooke. It was titled Telecom Acct Teams 101. Insightful and piercingly clear (IMHO).
Walt
lightbay 12/5/2012 | 1:26:00 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' Arrogance led to a bunch of other problems at PRKT. The big question is whether Google's arrogance will do the same to GGLE.
yesteryear 12/5/2012 | 1:25:59 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' BZZZZT!!! Sorry... the Federal Government IS going bankrupt... now like any really big corporation, it will take a long time for that ship to sink, but all we gotta do is start up a few more ridiculous "put a man on Mars"-type missions and we'll get there!!! ;-)

-yesteryear

PS - Normally I would be a strong advocate of space programs in general, but that presupposes that we have a President who can add and subtract, and understands what a negative number is...


Federal Government... no shareholders to worry about. no accountability (CIA) ... Unlimited War on Terror gravy train! (DoD)

They are the SEC...

-tsat

... customers who are not going bankrupt, freezing their CapEx, or are going to be under SEC investigation.

In the past three years, were there customers that didn't fall into one of those categories?
aceis 12/5/2012 | 1:25:54 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' 1. Alcatel had never any interest in Foundry, don't know where you guys get that from.
2. Alcatel did shortlist Procket and Timetra for acquisition after looking at a handful of router startups and decided to go with Timetra for the following reasons:

- the core market is commodity stuff these days
- the Timetra router was by far the most stable router tested during the search and had impressive scaling numbers; the Procket box had instabilities all the time
- there were Timetra and Procket advocates in Alcatel, an independed team within Alcatel confirm the superiority of the Timetra box, it all just worked very well.
- integration of the Procket team would have been troublesome due to the big ego's walking around over there. Yes, that does play a role, for sure after the failed integration of previous acquisitions
- the Timetra team was by far the best R&D team put together of all the startups Alcatel has screened and they came without the big ego's and big office's
- value for money, Procket was overpriced
- the Timetra execs were the bonus

Alcatel welcome's the Procket engineers by the way...
Sisyphus 12/5/2012 | 1:25:54 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' > ... executive staff needs to have strong,
> existing relationships with customers ...

Sure they do.

Not being an insider, though, I can picture the same discussion that repeats itself a hundred times over and over in Silicon Valley start-ups:

Engineering: "If sales and marketing were truly great, the promise and potential of our product vision alone ought to gain us customers!"

Sales and Marketing: "We get people that are interested enough, but for revenue we need the product to do what it was supposed to do right *now*."

Engineering: "You guys don't do your job. You don't sell."

Sales and Marketing: "You guys don't do your job. The product doesn't work."

Engineering: "The product works as well as it can given circumstances."

Sales and Marketing: "We have excellent customer interest given ciorcumstances."

Sulking all around. Engineering feels let down by the oputbound teams, the outbound teams let down by engineering.

I have heard different stories on how well the Procket product actually worked - some say it was awesome, some say there were too many limitations.

In any case, given the amount of money invested, I can well imagine the pressure was enormous all around, and that the last year or so must have been incredibly taxing for everybody involved.

The moral of the story is that is was tough for *any* company conceived in the excess and enthusiasm of the bubble to survive and try to strive through the shock therapy of the downturn. The change was just too brutal, and start-ups simply don't do well when you have to slam on the brakes and utterly re-direct them. You can't take a tropical flower and expose it to artic cold, and expect it to bloom. Along with the business climate, the corporate DNA of most bubble companies was such that it prevented the adjustment to the downturn.

I am sure many people learned many lessons in Procket. And we were all excited to have such a promising company in Silicon Valley for a while. Let's hope for more Prockets, and let's hope for them to actually be successful. You win some, you lose some...
opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 1:25:53 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' "- the Timetra team was by far the best R&D team put together of all the startups Alcatel has screened and they came without the big ego's and big office's"

I can tell a story to confirm this. I once had a chance to visit Timetra. While I was waiting, there was someone working on the receptionist's computer, under the table/behind the monitor playing with the cables. Finally he said 'there, now it works'. Then he turned to me and said, in his quiet voice "Hi, I'm Basil Alwin, the CEO"



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