Full Stack Business Development

In the language of technology, a “Full Stack Developer” is someone who understands how to code every level of a computer: from the fundamentals of server processes to backend programming to database architecture and front-end design. They’re among the most valued members of an organization, able to translate between the layers of a system. A Full Stack Developer can be your best resource whether you’re planning for top-notch performance, diagnosing a tricky situation that’s eluded your best specialists, or are just quickly hacking your way to an MVP.
Allow me to introduce the idea of a similar unicorn: the “Full Stack Business Development” person. A Full Stack BD understands the complexities and interactions between every layer of long-term value:

  • The Customer Layer: a Full Stack BD knows that customer development is just as important as partnership development. They understand what motivates, what upsets, what delights your current and prospective customers.
  • The Product Layer: a Full Stack BD knows how to identify and solve the needs unearthed in the Customer Layer. They inform the products and services that create value for customers and help advance their own organization’s pursuit of long-term value.
  • The Strategy Layer: a Full Stack BD knows how look before they leap, to evaluate the best paths to long-term value. They are comfortable directing attention back towards internal resources like product development or marketing, but can also lead the charge in selling the idea of partnership when the best path leads outside the company walls.
  • The Human Layer: a Full Stack BD knows how to reach and connect with people, to communicate the value of an idea to an individual and to an organization. They know how to establish a bond based and build relationships that provide back in equal proportion to everyone involved.
  • The Relationship Layer: a Full Stack BD knows how to keep the balance between what’s given and what’s received, when to tow the company line and when to advocate on behalf of another. They know how keep value flowing, so that it’s sustainable and worth the effort.

The path to becoming good at Business Development can be start from a background sales, or marketing, or finance, or partnerships, or accounting, or liberal arts, or law. But becoming great at it requires the full stack.

8 Responses to Full Stack Business Development
  1. iamdrw Reply

    This is awesome. You officially have a new fan. thx for sharing

    • slpollack Reply


  2. Chuck Norris Reply

    Thanks. I have a new career goal now: Full Stack Business Development. Of course, I’m still hoping Hugh Hefner hires me to take over his empire but if that doesn’t work out I will stick with traditional BD.

  3. Danial Tokath Reply

    this is great .. thumbs up Scott

    • slpollack Reply

      Thanks Danial!

  4. Noah Reply

    Just discovered your blog…nice work. The Full Stack analogy compared to a developer is very interesting. It is fantastic when a BD has the capacity, interest, responsibility to significantly operate on each level. I have been fortunate to work with a few who did it. But not many. In most cases a lot will also be dictated by the size company you are in. I’ve been in larger orgs that had FT operatives responsible for several of your layers. Good stuff.

  5. […] many requisite skillsets that are useful in Business Development but not every job requires the ful... https://startofthedeal.com/2016/07/25/how-to-get-a-job-in-business-development
  6. Warren Lanier, Jr. Reply

    Awesome!! Thanks

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