jerryking + marketing + product-orientated   2

HOW TO: Land a Business Development Job
So you want to be a business development professional? The job title has certainly become a coveted one of late, especially in the tech sector where the business guys and gals are the ones forging newsworthy partnerships.
The question is, do you know what the job entails? Even then, do you know how and where to start on this newfound career path? Or better yet, do you have the qualities that make for success in these always-on positions?
Mashable interviewed six experts in the field at various stages in their careers to get their tips on what it takes to become a business development professional at technology companies and startups.
Biz Dev ProsHere is some background information on these six seasoned business development professionals.
Charles Hudson: Newly turned entrepreneur Charles Hudson was the vice president of business development at Serious Business, a top social game developer acquired by Zynga in February. Previous engagements include senior business development positions at Gaia Online and Google. Hudson also produces two conferences focused on gaming: Virtual Goods Summit and Social Gaming Summit. Hudson is now co-founder of Bionic Panda Games.
Jesse Hertzberg: Hertzberg is the former vice president of operations and business development at Etsy, the immensely popular social commerce site for handmade and vintage items now valued at close to $300 million. Hertzberg currently advises a number of startups, including Squarespace, and is the founder of BigSoccer.
Matt Van Horn: Van Horn is the vice president of business development at the super stealth startup Path. His past jobs include more than three years working in business development for Digg, as well as a four-year stint with Apple while attending college.
Tristan Walker: Walker is the up-and-coming investment-banker-turned-tech-star heading Foursquare’s business development efforts. Walker is directly responsible for coordinating a majority of the trendy startup’s biggest strategic partnerships. This role has also brought considerable visibility to Walker, who’s been featured in Vibe Magazine, as well as named in The Hollywood Reporter’s Digital Power 50 list, Black Enterprise’s 40 Next list and Mediaweek’s 50:20 to Watch list.
Jason Oberfest: Oberfest is the vice president of social applications at game developer Ngmoco, which was recently acquired by DeNA for $300 million with a potential $100 million more in post-acquisition bonuses. Prior to joining to Ngmoco, Oberfest was the senior vice president of business development at MySpace, and before that the managing director of business development at Los Angeles Times Interactive.
Cortlandt Johnson: Johnson is the chief evangelist at SCVNGR and actively works to recruit businesses to participate in the startup’s rewards program. Johnson also co-founded DartBoston, an event-centric community designed to connect entrepreneurs and professionals in the Boston area.
Education and Internships

What undergraduate school should I attend? Do I need to go to grad school? What about internships? These are all questions you’re likely to face as you explore a future in business development. The esteemed professionals we interviewed all have backgrounds of varying degrees, so we asked for their input on these subject matters.
Walker’s own personal story is perhaps the most unique example of how to come by a business development position. While certainly making his mark in business development now, Walker initially pursued a career on Wall Street before packing it up and heading to Stanford Graduate School of Business, a shift that pushed him in the tech direction.
All things considered, does Walker recommend internships? “Certainly depends,” he says. However, based on his own internship experiences, “if you want to work in tech long term, interning at an investment bank may not make the most sense,” he jokes.
Hertzberg is a big proponent of internships. “Interning is the best job interview you can ever get, and is critical to beginning to build your professional network. Some of my favorite professional relationships are with folks who once interned for me,” he says.
Johnson suggests going after internships that push you outside your comfort zone. “The goal of my internships was to learn how to interact with all kinds of people. I always went after positions that forced me into different types of situations, whether they be social or otherwise,” says Johnson.
Grad school is something Walker has a bit more conviction about. In his words, “B-school” is “very important … not only for the skills (i.e. accounting, finance, operations, etc.) that could be beneficial for all managers to comprehend long term, but also for the softer skills of ‘people management.’”
Oberfest found an immediate opening in the biz dev field right as he was starting out. “I was fortunate to get my career started at the beginning of the first Internet boom, so for me it was trial by fire,” he explains.
If you’re on the fence about grad school, consider the following statement from Oberfest. “Grad school can help, but [it] is not a requirement. Good knowledge of the mechanics of deals — how to structure and negotiate deals — is an important component of the job and an MBA or JD can certainly help there, but I think the single most important attribute of an exceptional business development person is good product intuition.”[jk: being product-orientated}
Van Horn is also proof that graduate degrees aren’t absolute requirements. “I’ve never attended graduate school, but if you’re able to attend a top tier school, I hear you build an incredible network for life,” he says.
Instead, Van Horn spent his undergraduate college years working for Apple. “It’s very powerful to have a big brand behind your resume,” Van Horn shares. “I worked for Apple for four years doing campus marketing while in college and it helped a lot.”
For Hertzberg, his MBA, “was worth half of what I paid for it, as I already had a business background.” But, he says, “The network is why you go and, yes, that has been worth its weight in gold.”
Required Reading

All of the professionals we talked to strongly advocate that those aspiring to work in the field read up on mentors past.
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, by Keith Ferrazzi is Van Horn’s personal favorite read.Johnson, who also recommends Never Eat Alone, finds Tim Sanders’s Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence to be an important read as well.Walker suggests that business development professionals-in-training pick up a copy of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.Unfortunately, it takes more than a few good books to read your way to success. Hertzberg recommends an aggressive approach to ongoing education that entails consuming as much information as possible.
“Read industry rags voraciously and know who is starting up, who is funded, who is growing, who is cutting what deals, etc.” he says. “Have a deep and holistic understanding of the industry and marketplace beyond just your company’s focus.”
Hudson strongly advises that, “all BD people, especially start-up BD people, should read Steve Blank’s work on customer discovery. That’s a big part of your job.” You might also want to start by reading Hudson’s own in-depth article on what being the “business guy” at a startup entails.
Must-Have Qualities

If you want to work in business development, and do so successfully, these experts agree that there’s one thing you absolutely need — a tangible passion for product.
In actionable terms, Walker describes this as a “tireless hustle.” Van Horn agrees. “I think you need to be passionate and have hustle,” he says.
Van Horn also recommends being an “early adopter of interesting products. If you’re looking for a technology job, make sure you use every awesome sounding new product you read on Mashable.”
Those best suited for business development roles are the make-it-work types, says Johnson. “The most successful people I’ve met are those who know how to quickly adapt and hustle to find ways to overcome any obstacles put in their way,” he advises.
Oberfest believes these three qualities are key: the ability to “quickly read people,” innate negotiation sensibilities and an appreciation for long-term relationships.
Hertzberg reminds that “you have to like people,” if you want to do well in a biz dev role.
Hudson agrees and points to human-to-human interaction as a huge part of the job. “If you want to go into business development, I think you have to be good at dealing with and understanding people. If you’re not comfortable with interpersonal communications and relationship management, it probably isn’t the right job for you,” he says.
On the flip side, Walker says that those possessing a “lack of humility” are least suited for biz dev positions. In a similar vein, Hertzberg says, “Be humble. Always represent your company’s brand faithfully. Constantly work to enhance and preserve that brand. Remember that your personal brand will never be bigger than your company’s.”
Getting Your First Biz Dev Job

For those just looking to get their foot in the door somewhere, knowing the answer to the question, “How does one get a biz dev job?” is of the utmost importance. We posed this particular question to our professionals, who all have slightly different, but uniquely encouraging takes on how and where to get started.
“For me it started with just recognizing the pretty significant business opportunity at a startup that I was already passionate about,” says Walker. “It always starts with product, then recognizing the opportunity on top of that.”
If you’re still an entry-level professional, Oberfest recommends not taking a job in business development at first, but rather in product management.
“I would first go work as a product manager in the industry you are passionate … [more]
business_development  job_search  social_media  social_networking  marketing  product-orientated  tristan_walker  via:sfarrar  thinking_holistically  top-tier  the_single_most_important 
august 2016 by jerryking
Bark with bite
January 30, 2012 | FT | By John Quelch.

Academics succeed if their names are linked to one important idea that outlives them. Professor Theodore Levitt’s name is linked to many. The first was a blockbuster. “Marketing myopia” was published by Harvard Business Review (HBR) in 1960, one year after Harvard Business School plucked Prof Levitt, the son of a German immigrant cobbler, from the University of North Dakota.

The article famously asked: “What business are you in?” It critiqued railroads for “letting their customers get away from them because they assumed themselves to be in the railroad business rather than the transportation business”. They were product-orientated rather than market-orientated....the importance of tangible evidence to reassure customers choosing among suppliers of intangible services (the impressive bank building, the authoritative logo)....I gave him a wide berth until it was time for feedback on my thesis proposal after three months of hard labour. The meeting lasted five minutes, barely long enough for Prof Levitt, whose mentoring style was more tough love than hand-holding, to dismiss me with: “Throw this out, start again and come back in a week with something important!” Fortunately, I did.

Prof Levitt’s advice was always to work on important problems that are important to important people in important companies. It spurred me to get out into the field, talk to business people, write case studies and understand the messy complexity of the world, rather than work behind my desk on mathematical models based on unrealistic assumptions.
advice  discernment  feedback  hand-holding  HBR  HBS  John_Quelch  marketing  market-orientated  messiness  myopic  primary_field_research  product-orientated  reminiscing  sophisticated  Theodore_Levitt  tough_love  worthiness  worthwhile_problems 
december 2013 by jerryking

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