JoAnna Hughes | Content Writer
The technology industry needs a business lesson. There, I said it.
Now, you may emphatically disagree with me regarding that statement. And if you do it’s probably because if you search Forbes-ranked technology companies there’s a nice list: Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Cisco, Facebook…Okay, given the news, maybe Facebook is a bad example.
I will admit those tech companies probably don’t need many business lessons, but they also represent a small fraction of the technology industry. Technology is more than just computers and their software. Technology encompasses biotechnology, green technology, hydrotechnology, etcetera, and while few would disagree that these examples aren’t “technology” they also don’t rake in the bucks like our computer/software friends listed above.
I know it shocks you to think that an environmental up-start, that has found a way to make cleaner water from the ash of charcoal briquets, makes less money than a company that can literally turn your home into the Jetson’s. But this is where our grillmaster entrepreneurs can apply one of business’ oldest adages…
It Takes Money, To Make Money
If a Forbes 500 giant were asked to complete a proposal (RFP) or a request for information (RFI), do you think they’d have to sift through all of their content for the right pieces and cross their fingers that it was compliant?
Of course, not. Because they’ve made the investment in some type of proposal software and content management platform, like Proposal Software’s PMAPS. This creates a single source of truth for their content and doesn’t make them reinvent the wheel every time a new RFP or RFI rolls around. By having the correct software, it saves them time and allows them to focus their energy on building the next big thing. Probably a voice activated coffeemaker.
First, I am not exaggerating. I recently spoke into pitch dark nothingness and asked for the lights in my house to be turned on. So, there.
Secondly, what do you think inspired this blog? I searched for technology proposals and I found the following:
- The United States Air Force Research Lab has links to various RFP/RFIs for photonic energy, in one example, it takes you to a 22-page outline (proposal information is on page 17, fyi)1.
- The National Institute of Health has an RFP for Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Studies for Medications Development2. This link provided two locations for the RFP information: the first was dead end and the second suggested that after I read the RFP details, I submit a Proposal Intent Sheet to “expedite the preparations for the review of proposals”3. I also think it’s worth noting that this page didn’t include the topic for the original RFP I sought.
- The GreenTech Smart City Conference is calling for papers and proposals4. The receipt of these proposals was delegated to a conference management system that does not list proposal management in its list of services.
If you need more examples of overly complicated RFPs I also have examples from the U.S. Department of Energy5, maritime tech6, biotech7, and hydrotech8. Just saying.
Here Endeth the Lesson
Cisco was a multiple-protocol router software at Stanford University. Amazon was initially supposed to be the largest online bookstore. Samsung was a trading company for food. But look at them all now. They’re “big business”.
How did they get so big?
By researching. By enforcing innovation. By making changes that focused on the big picture.
If you want your company to grow or your technology to change the world, start making adjustments that will allow you to spend your resources on your product. Start using proposal software management. It will save you time, money, and allow you to focus the next big thing—your business.
- “Accessibility Information.” Opportunities – Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities. https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=14af5c0eacc2ef1db9d7555b256013dd&_cview=0
- “NOT-DA-17-062: RFP Notice: Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Studies for Medications Development.” National Institutes of Health. https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-DA-17-062.html
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. “NIDA Requests for Contract Proposals (RFPs).” NIDA. March 15, 2018. https://www.drugabuse.gov/funding/funding-opportunities/nida-requests-contract-proposals-rfps
- “Call for Paper and Proposals Revised … – Ieeegreentech.org.” https://ieeegreentech.org/documents/2018/02/cfp-integrated-both.pdf/
- “DOE’s HPC4Manufacturing Program Seeks Industry Proposals for Energy Advances.” Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. February 01, 2018. https://www.llnl.gov/news/does-hpc4manufacturing-program-seeks-industry-proposals-energy-advances
- “Call for Proposals: Blue Skills Development and Funding Opportunities in the Maritime Technology Sector.” Maritime Affairs – European Commission. November 22, 2017. https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/content/call-proposals-blue-skills-development-and-funding-opportunities-maritime-technology-sector_en.
- “Submit a Proposal.” BIO. https://www.bio.org/bio-world-congress/2018-proposals
- “Press Release Detail.” PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. https://www.pub.gov.sg/news/pressreleases/pubdrivesinnovationsforwatersustainability