Distribution – Andreessen Horowitz

a16z.com

When I ask new entrepreneurs what their distribution model will be, I often get answers like: “I don’t want to hire any of those Rolex-wearing, BMW-driving, overly aggressive enterprise sales slimeballs, so we are going to distribute our product like Dropbox did.” In addition to taking stereotyping to a whole new level, this answer demonstrates a deep misunderstanding of how sales channels should be designed.

What is a sales channel? It’s a route to market for a product or set of products. It can range from your website to a sophisticated sales force. The sale itself must be supported with the right marketing, process, and optimization strategy. Selecting the right channel is critical for any business — and products often fail because the company chose the wrong route to market.

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