Chapter 7. CUSTOMERS: On Love, Enterprise, Simplicity, and Partners

Tom Mendoza shredded our initial sales strategy as soon as we hired him. To grow a business, you must find either more customers or bigger customers. Our original plan was to sell to start-ups, or to small engineering workgroups within large companies, and find lots of them. Instead of selling to ten small companies, Tom asked, why not sell ten times as much— or a hundred times—to one large company? Once we got in the door, we would be able to count on a regular and significant stream of orders rolling in automatically as the customer grew. "We'll make millions," Tom said, "as long as the fax machine doesn't break."

This chapter is the story of how NetApp learned to satisfy the ...

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