Closer to the Code: Embracing Founder-Led Software Demos

I get a lot of software demos and I love them because, I want to know what is the state of the art.   However, when it comes time for the demonstration, I’m often met with a well-dressed salesperson armed with a carefully crafted script. They navigate through the features and benefits of the software, but something feels missing – a genuine connection to the heart of the product.

Enter the concept of "Closer to the Code" – a refreshing approach to software demos that brings the founders, the visionaries behind the solution, to the forefront. These are the individuals who possess an innate understanding of the problem they set out to solve and who actually wrote the code that powers the software. This alternative to the traditional salesperson approach offers an opportunity for in-person, hands-on demos that resonate with authenticity, depth, and a true understanding of the product's capabilities.  This is why DoTadda has a “share publicly” option.  We wanted to have our potential fans to try DoTadda without signing up.  Check it out, this DoTadda database is my ideas blog.  Search, scroll, do your best.  Enjoy.

The Founders' Insight

Founders, as the architects of the software, possess a unique insight into their creation. They have intimate knowledge of the design choices, the coding intricacies, and the problem-solving journey that brought the software to life.  This is true. When founders personally lead a demonstration, they're able to dive into the nuances that might otherwise remain hidden during a standard sales pitch.  This is especially true for founders that built to solve their own pain.

Authentic Connection

A founder-led demo isn't just about explaining features – it's about sharing the passion that fueled the development process. As the creator of the software, founders can articulate the "why" behind every feature, showcasing the real-world problems they intended to address.   This connection resonates with potential clients on a deeper level. I know this happens when I do my demos.  I was recently on a call with (imagine BIG NAME vendor salesperson) and asked “is your text editor Lexical?”   The demonstrator didn’t know the answer, but a founder that is “closer to the code” would.  Abstractions away from the code, especially in sales, does not work well because the salesperson does not know the answer.  As a buyer, you are supposed to trust the “brand” even if they are not camera-ready at this point in time.  If you’re fine with the “I’ll get back to you” response from the sales person, I can’t help you, you’re lost, leaning toward buying a CYA brand name rather than the best solution.

Consider Small Startups, because they are “closer to the code.”

In my view  "Closer to the Code" should be viewed by buyers as attractive because who you are speaking to actually knows the art of the possible.  You might hear, “No we can’t do X and this is why,” while salespeople at big vendors say “yes” to all your questions.  Have you ever heard, “this is on our roadmap.”

In conclusion, the "Closer to the Code" approach offers a refreshing alternative to the standard software demo. Founder-led demonstrations bring authenticity, insight, and a genuine connection to the heart of the product. By witnessing the creators of the software in action, no matter how small, clients gain a deeper appreciation for the problem-solving journey and the technical brilliance that underpins the solution. So, the next time you're in a demo meeting led by a salesperson or consultant, don't be surprised if you find yourself yearning for a founder-led demo.  Founder-led demos are much better in my opinion, they understand what they’ve built, why they built it, and how they built it, and want to earn your business.  You’ll get much better mileage with this group of people, than those who feel entitled to your business because of their name.

Until next time,