Friday, 21 February 2014

Market Dojo: A Dragon’s Den View by Jon Hansen

Posted on February 4, 2014 by PI Blogger


Editors note:  We had the great pleasure to be picked as a finalist for the 'Year in the life series' on the Procurement insights blog.  Unfortunately we did not win however, Jon Hansen gave us a great write up after our radio interview.

Editor’s Note: On December 19th, 2013 I had the opportunity to interview Year in the Life candidate Market Dojo, a New Wave company that that helps clients to “maximize” their purchasing power.  In the post-show commentary, our Dragon’s Den (or Shark Tank if you prefer) panel of experts provide their take on the interview and offer advice to the company.  In today’s review I will provide my take on Market Dojo;
PI Market Dojo
While creating a more efficient supply chain may not be rocket science – although given the multitude of past challenges in successfully launching an initiative to automate the process may make one think it is – in talking with the founders of Market Dojo I was immediately reminded of a group of bespectacled, lab coat wearing scientists.  It was not so much the way they actually looked, but their manner in explaining the methodology they employed to create the “perfect” e-Sourcing solution.  Within this context, it would be easy to conclude that they would be equally at home in a NASA lab, as they are in a boardroom or testifying before a government committee.
In the many times that I had communicated with them leading up to the December 19th radio interview, I got the distinct impression that they are always figuring the angles and aligning the different variables in an effort to meet the at time complex needs of a rapidly changing market.  Or to put it another way, this is not a let’s win the business first and worry about making it work later group of people.
When you visit the Market Dojo site you will quickly discover that the only Madison Avenue element of the company is their somewhat whimsical name.  Outside of that you will be provided with a stark, highly functional very factual overview of what they do, why they do it and how you can benefit from their expertise.  In short they are a no sizzle all substance enterprise that employs the slide-rule more than the hard sell to win customers and deliver results.
All this being said, there is a downside for a company that uses hard logic as its main lever for winning business.
For many of their potential customers who have expended substantial sums of money and time in an effort to implement traditional procurement applications that have for the most part failed to deliver the expected results, choosing to go with a company that can provide an almost immediate return for a fraction of the cost is a difficult pill to swallow.  

Let’s face it, how do you explain to your board that you have thrown good money after bad for so long while a better and more affordable solution was literally available right under your nose.  There is no logical argument that can help you to reconcile this discrepancy in judgment.  This is perhaps why so many of the old application vendors are trying to acquire the most promising up and coming cloud-based solution providers.  It gives the customers a chance to make a change within the framework of their existing relationships.
With Market Dojo, or for that matter any of the New Wave Companies that are coming to the forefront of market consciousness, being able to navigate these at times contradictory realities as opposed to providing the best solution will be the key to their ultimate success.  At this stage I am not certain that Market Dojo possesses the prerequisite marketing know how to gain the traction that their solution warrants.
For this reason I believe that 2014 will be the most critical year for the company, because after all there are only so many shopping days before Christmas meaning that there is a relatively short window of opportunity for them to make their mark.
On a closing note, the founders of Market Dojo might actually wear lab coats as Alun Rafique is an Aeronautical engineer, Nick Drewe has a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and Nicholas Martin a physicist.
Big-Bang-PI Post
The MarketDojo Team?
Be sure to check out our other Year in the Life Candidates as well as follow The Year in the Life 2014 Series on Twitter #YRiLife2014.

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