If you're building something for which you can't easily get a small set of users to observe—e.g. enterprise software—and in a domain where you have no connections, you'll have to rely on cold calls and introductions. But should you even be working on such an idea?Implying that consumer software is easier to develop a user base for, and to gain momentum with. Is this true? Or is selling enterprise software simply a matter of developing the correct business model?
Yes, but you have to understand that a lot of it hinges on semantics.
When people say "enterprise software", they think about software like Oracle database or Exchange server or SAP installation. Such software has the following characteristics:
For that reason the way such software is sold involves a large sales force that flies to potential customers and makes presentations to convince senior level people they should buy their product and not competition.
When people talk about "consumer" software they think about todo list or a file manager. This software has the following characteristics:
It's rather obvious that enterprise software is both harder to develop and harder to sell.
Paradoxically, it doesn't mean consumer software is "easier".
Building successful consumer software is hard.
Building successful enterprise software is hard.
If you're Oracle, building one more enterprise product is easier that building your first consumer product because Oracle understands enterprise and can build on it's existing strengths (e.g. they already have a large sales force). At the same time, Oracle knows nothing about consumer software.
If you're a single developer, then you don't even have an option of building enterprise software (by definition, it requires a large team and large expense to develop and a large sales force to sell).
Now, it's possible that you have a different definition of "enterprise software" than the one I gave and one that would invalidate my reasoning, but that's the problem with vague questions.