With your technology business, to get to a point where you’re kind of “embedding in” traction, you need to run pilot projects, and there’s a problem in that there’s a mismatch between “Category A” activities and “Category B” activities.
A lot of people will agree to support pilot projects in their organisations, but it’s not their MAIN job. Their main job is what they get paid to do, or get yelled at or fired if they don’t do well. That’s a “Category A” activity.
Your pilot is a “Category B” activity – well it’s a Category B activity to them, but I get that it’s a Category A* DOUBLE PLUS activity to you.
Category B activities can turn to smoke at any moment, because they are often structurally tenuous within the customer’s organisation. I’ve seen founders end up threatening to sue “piloteers” for ditching pilots because priorities shifted – guess how well that went.
My advice on this one? Don’t rely on just one pilot, and maintain very good antenna as to the politics at play.