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Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Richard Potter, CEO and Co-Founder of Peak, an AI platform that has raised $118 Million in funding.

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • The Birth of Peak in the AI Landscape: Richard discusses the early vision for Peak in 2016, focusing on leveraging AI and machine learning to enhance business performance before the widespread AI boom.
  • Educating Early Adopters: The initial challenge was educating the market on AI’s potential, with many early adopters excited but equally many skeptics unsure of AI’s practicality due to the data maturity levels at the time.
  • Transitioning from Early Adopters to Mainstream Market: Richard outlines the shift in selling to early adopters versus mainstream adopters, emphasizing the need for certainty of outcomes and robust comparisons in the mainstream market.
  • Go-to-Market and Marketing Philosophy: Peak’s approach to marketing has evolved from raising awareness and generating excitement to focusing on value creation and demonstrating tangible benefits of AI to businesses.
  • Navigating the Tech Recession and Future Optimism: Despite the challenges posed by the recent tech downturn, Richard shares a positive outlook for Peak’s future, driven by strong current demand and growth.
  • Fundraising Strategy and Lessons Learned: Richard reflects on Peak’s fundraising journey, the strategy of raising early and often without desperation, and the importance of being bold and visionary from the start.

 

Actionable
Takeaways

Early Market Education is Crucial for Innovative Tech:

Richard's experience with Peak highlights the importance of educating potential customers about new technologies, especially when introducing groundbreaking concepts like AI. B2B tech founders should prioritize demystifying their technology and clearly demonstrating its value to foster early adoption.

Identify and Engage Early Adopters Through Persistent Outreach:

The key to Peak's initial growth was the relentless pursuit of conversations with potential customers. Founders should adopt a strategy of continuous engagement, understanding that every discussion, even those that don't immediately lead to sales, is an opportunity to refine their pitch and identify early adopters.

Adapt Sales Strategies for Early vs. Mainstream Markets:

Transitioning from selling to early adopters to appealing to the mainstream market requires a shift in approach. Focus on providing certainty of outcomes, robust comparisons, and comprehensive support to meet the expectations of more risk-averse mainstream buyers.

Value Creation Drives Business Success:

Richard emphasizes the philosophy of value selling, positioning products and services as pathways to a more optimal, sustainable, and exciting future for customers. Founders should anchor their go-to-market strategies around the tangible value their solutions offer, ensuring that this value proposition is clear and compelling.

Be Bold and Visionary in Fundraising:

Reflecting on Peak's fundraising journey, Richard suggests that founders should not shy away from sharing their most ambitious visions with investors. Even if your company is taking incremental steps, articulating a bold long-term vision can attract the right partners and potentially accelerate your company's development.

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