Which is more important: having a great technology to sell or a great operation that sells it?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 220,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

Which is more important: having a great technology to sell or a great operation that sells it?

  • It’s all about the tech. It’ll sell itself. :15.5%
  • Operations and execution is where it’s at.: 84.5%

The tech is the easy part. No matter how great your technology is, if you can’t sell it and execute your business plan, the tech is worthless. Ensure you invest appropriate time and energy in thinking through your operating model and managing execution. It’s much more important to get the basics right: define a strategy, hire the right people, sell like crazy, execute your plan and give up control to let the talented people you hire do their jobs. If you stay too focused on the tech, you’ll find you own 100% of a cool code base or product that no one uses.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."