Louis Nastro is a Boardroom Metrics Accomplished Advisor.

Louis provides executive leadership in the aerospace/navigation and management consulting industries.  His specialties include business restructuring, international business management and business development in advanced technology market segments.

Louis is member of The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Every successful high tech company has created value either by:

  • Inventing a revolutionary technology and maintaining enough of a technical edge to build and sustain market share setting the barrier to entry high for competitors.
  • Employing a ‘fast follower’ strategy to evolve existing technology and truly understand the needs of users to address specific areas which mainstream producers have overlooked.

Unfortunately, too many technology businesses “Cross the Chasm” (as written by Geoffrey A. Moore), then fail to ask what’s next?

No matter how a technology firm has achieved its current position, they must continue to monitor their brands and technology in the face of an ever changing marketplace. Understanding how far the technical underpinnings of their business strategy will take them is critical.

Here are a few questions high technology firms need to ask themselves on a regular basis to answer this critical question:

  • How is your brand perceived with current customers and, more importantly, non customers?  How are you getting this information and are you perceiving it objectively?
  • When was the last time you had a comprehensive business strategy review with Product Managers and Engineers at the table?  Are they involved in only developing technology within established markets, or are they encouraged to think how that technology can be applied in non- traditional ways?
  • When was the last time an engineer in your firm was sent to a trade show so they understand the business requirements as well as the technical ones?
  • How are you vetting the technical assumptions of your product development plans?  Do you look at how you compare with current offerings in an established marketplace with only internal sources (employees), or are you looking at alternative markets with domain experts who are unbiased and can give you user based feedback and market direction?

Leaders of high tech companies who do not answer such questions objectively live in constant fear of someone developing a technology in their garage or getting acquired by the competition and making their current product offering irrelevant quickly.

By answering some of the questions above and understanding that the technical foundation of a business (in current and emerging markets) is a critical path to sustained value, owners of tech businesses can ride the technology curve to generate new value and keep their businesses relevant and profitable.