Recently I was talking to a hot startup in town that had completed a project with a Fortune 1000 company last month. After inquiring about the economics of the deal, goals, and outcomes it became readily apparent that there was no return on investment (ROI). Casually, I asked if the customer is going to continue with the next round of the project, which is almost the same as the first. The answer: yes, of course, they are going to continue working with us.
It seems strange that the big co is going to move forward when the results show they’ll lose more money. The takeaway is that for certain leading edge technologies, a ROI isn’t critical if it enables the big co to learn about new tools and markets. At certain early points in the product adoption lifecycle, companies will spend money simply to experiment.