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{ Wednesday, August 16, 2006 }

BizDev 2.0

When another blogger notices something you said, and points out its blogworthiness, the temptation is strong to scoop them. And so I'm scooping Fred, who contacted me about a small startup that wanted an introduction, but I said we (that is, Flickr) probably didn't have the space on our schedules to engage with them in any meaningful way, but that they should feel free to apply for a Commercial API key and build something off the API. "BizDev 2.0" I call it. Nifty concept, sez Fred.

Several companies -- probably more than a dozen -- have approached us to provide printing services for Flickr users, and while we were unable to respond to most of them, given the number of similar requests and other things eating up our time, one company, QOOP, just went ahead and applied for a Commercial API key, which was approved almost immediately, and built a fully-fleshed out service. Then after the fact, business development on our side got in touch, worked out a deal -- and the site was built and taking orders while their competitors were still waiting for us to return their emails. QOOP even patrols the discussions on the Flickr boards about their product, and responds and makes adjustments based on what they read there. Now that's customer service, and BizDev 2.0.

Traditional business development meant spending a lot of money on dry cleaning, animating your powerpoint, drinking stale coffee in windowless conference rooms and scouring the thesaurus looking for synonyms for "synergy". Not to mention trying to get hopelessly overbooked people to return your email. And then after the deal was done, squabbling over who dealt with the customer service. Much, much better this way!

LINK | 7:04 PM | TB

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  { COMMENTS }

Great post! Who from QOOP approached you about getting a comercial license? I assume in many ways the management team (poss lead by Business Dev 2.0) was responsible for selecting what order (a combo of market share and technical ease ??) & when to approach the photo sharing sites and then following up when your bus dev guys got involved. Then again, how does this fit in with the other product management functions?

Sean Ammirati | August 17, 2006 8:32 AM

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If you have any NYC plans over the next couple of months, I'm very interested in putting on a nextNY "Community Conversation" on BizDev 2.0... Our last one was called Startup 101. (http://www.nextny.org/wiki/show/Startup+101+June+2006)

Let me know if you plan on coming to NYC soon and you're interested in participating. I'll work out the dates accordingly... I'm sure I can rope Fred into it. :)

Charlie | August 17, 2006 8:41 AM

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The next meeting will be in Second Life...

Dimitar Vesselinov | August 17, 2006 12:45 PM

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As usual, you are on the money. We did this as well with your commercial API, and I've since taken to calling it "lightweight biz dev" (partly b/c I hate the 2.0 moniker) because you get to see results without either side having to commit a lot of resources.

Unfortunately most of the world is still on the 1.0 way of doing things which means that I get to spend a boatload of time on airplanes and working through contracts that require a free trees to print.

Antonio Rodriguez | August 17, 2006 2:48 PM

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Fascinating. And much faster than the bizdev dating game.

John Koetsier | August 17, 2006 3:51 PM

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It's not scooping if you give credit!
Sheesh.

bobo | August 18, 2006 12:18 AM

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I love your points, but want to comment that this happened in Web 1.0 as well. I worked for Open Market (east coast) during the late '90s in biz dev and partners programs, and we had tons of small startups wanting to partner with us and we simply pointed them to the online form where they signed up to receive and download the API.

Actually, in fact, that's how I got the job at Open Market in first place. I was on the other side of fence. Working at another company in 1996, and needed to find a software product that would handle back-end ecommerce stuff like OMKT. Found them online (somehow managed pre-Google to find them;-)), called up about the API to make sure it would really do what I needed as I was disappointed by a competitor's API, downloaded API and created a demo that we showed at a couple of trade shows. When that company shut its doors, I got a job at Open Market showing our most strategic partners how to use the API best for a win-win for our joint customers.

Evelyn Rodriguez | August 18, 2006 12:52 AM

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Caterina �

How cool are you?

Thank you for including us in the post and the nice words and, of course, THANK YOU for letting QOOP do printing for flickr!

- Your friends at QOOP

Bill | August 18, 2006 10:44 PM

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Great post. I believe this offers plenty of opportunities also for more traditional companies and maby can be of use for the SMB sector.

Neok | August 19, 2006 10:21 AM

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jlfgnklzmh/

hassan | August 20, 2006 10:08 AM

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Good points, which also means that technology skills are going to be more important than just marketing or presentation skills...lesser cost of marketing and thus more budgets for product development and research...hope this trend grows faster.

Ajay Sanghani
CEO, ITVidya.com
http://www.itvidya.com

Ajay Sanghani | August 26, 2006 8:03 AM

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Strange that a few days after reading this post I got spammed from QOOP. Back to BizDev 0.1

Alberto Escarlate | August 31, 2006 1:08 PM

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We call this "asking for forgiveness, instead of asking for permission."

Eric Rodenbeck | September 1, 2006 6:13 PM

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