Such rigorous due diligence is understandable. No IT professional, especially in this job market, wants to be left holding the bag when the start-up he or she recommended goes belly up or gets swallowed by a shortsighted competitor.
But we may be going too far. Gordon Stitt, founder and CEO of Extreme Networks--an industry leader launched just six years ago--thinks the deck is now stacked against young innovators because IT customers have become "obsessed" with cash flow and other vendor financial metrics. Vendors don't usually fail or retreat because they run out of money, Stitt argues, but rather because they didn't make the proper strategic investments in areas like R&D and support infrastructure.
Also consider these nonfinancial questions when sizing up tech vendors: Has the company's product/ technology focus remained consistent over time, or does it shift with the latest market trend or buzz paradigm? Does the company's vision extend beyond its next product iteration? Is that vision grounded in customer needs (like trapping mice efficiently) or is it technology overkill (fiber to the trap)? Is price or some other fleeting competitive advantage the vendor's only value proposition?
Take a Chance