Global Direct Investment Solutions

Corporate Development for a Networked World

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How does this differ from associations or other services?

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Bruce Donnelly   bruce@gdi-solutions.com    (Biography)

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How does GDI Solutions differ from associations?

Professional associations can be limited in their ability to make appropriate introductions among corporate executives on a confidential and very selective basis because they need to keep all of their members happy.  They need thousands of members to support their operations.  We don't.  We need thousands of contacts, but only a very selective group of participants will fund our services, and we will deliver much higher value to them by doing work which associations can't readily perform simply because they serve a different purpose.  They may organize useful networking events and member directories, but generally stay out of the business of making specific referrals for services by members.

For example, if associations refer an investor to two or three members, they may be criticized by the many other members who feel that they should also have been given an equal opportunity, or that such a referral gave their competitors an unfair advantage in competition for a valuable project.  For every member they make happy by offering a valuable referral, they may alienate several others who feel unfairly excluded.

Since the process of making appropriate introductions is not really their core business, and the process for making such referrals is not clearly agreed in advance among members, associations may find such introductions to be more trouble than they are worth.  They may try to be helpful, but they don't generally go out and seek opportunities to make introductions, nor maintain the knowledge infrastructure and staff to do such introductions in a consistent and fairly reliable way.  By contrast, that is our core business.

After all, for every service provider or area representative who happily develops a relationship with an investor on the basis of the introduction, there are likely to be many other very disappointed members.  Associations may be happy to bring members together at networking events to meet each other on their own, but avoid responsibility for making the introductions.

GDI Solutions gets around this problem by making it very clear to all participants, as a condition of their participation, that introductions to corporate executives are driven by the preferences of those executives, and that introductions are made selectively according to the judgment of the responsible business development executive at GDI Solutions who is supporting those corporate executives.

While we welcome feedback to improve such judgment, as well as the work (such as GUIDE) to improve the base of local market knowledge which is available to support such judgment, it is absolutely clear from the start that participants are not "buying" any right to specific introductions through their participation in these services.  Instead, their active participation enables us to be in a better position to know when such an introduction to an investor may be appropriate.

Indeed, it is also understood from the start that introductions are not limited exclusively to active participants in these services.  The role of GDI Solutions is to identify appropriate introductions and resources to support the investment plans of corporate executives, and this will sometimes require introductions to contacts which have no prior association with GDI Solutions, but are believed to have the right capabilities despite less familiarity with them than active participants.

By contrast, associations would rarely be expected to attempt to make valuable introductions outside of their own base of membership.

Finally, it is specifically not the intention of GDI Solutions to encourage all service providers or area representatives to become active participants in these services, unlike associations which may welcome virtually any relevant member who will pay their fees.  Participation is expected to be selective, and concentrated on leaders in each of the three networks of contacts who are most likely to be involved in the support of major direct investment projects, and who have the resources and motivation to participate actively in our work.

For example, some areas are simply unlikely to attract major investment projects, or may not be motivated or have the resources to take an active role in the development of better services for investors, so there is little reason to encourage participation in a service which may be unlikely to deliver results for their purposes.

That explains another important distinction.  Like other businesses, we want to keep the relationships which we attract, and grow them.  We may not be able to make every potential participant happy, but we expect to keep the active participants happy by delivering valuable services to all of them.  They aren't paying a membership fee.  They are paying to participate actively in a unique professional service which is intended to transform how direct investment projects are supported worldwide.  It is a business with a challenging mission.

How does GDI Solutions differ from other services?

Refer also to the Introduction to Global Direct Investment Solutions.

This is a unique business.  We are unaware of any other organization which is attempting to provide a comparable service.  If you discover one, please let us know.

A common problem is that potential participants try to fit our service into the context of other services which they have encountered, whether as good or bad experiences.

Although some of the tasks performed by GDI Solutions are also performed by other organizations, none of them are directly comparable.  Indeed, to the extent that they perform such tasks well, GDI Solutions may even work in cooperation with such organizations to mutual benefit.

For example, there are some good market research services out there to help identify and reach executives who might need these services.  Just as individual area representatives or service providers might choose to take advantage of such "lead generation" services, we might work with very professional ones to expand our ability to develop appropriate working relationships with many leading investors.

As another example, there are good publications in this niche which reach many relevant executives.  We may not only take advantage of their capabilities through advertising and PR work, as others do, but may also help to make more executives aware of their resources, including the many reference tools available through their websites.  We serve the same direct investment market, but in a very different and more selective way.  They publish.  We work personally with top executives to support their investment plans.

Similarly, there are some good professional associations and events in which we may actively participate to expand our network of contacts and the base of knowledge available to support participants.  We don't wish to be event organizers, even though we may organize some events to support the performance of our work in response to investor interests, just as we publish a lot of useful content through this website without trying to be publishers like the magazines, and without selling advertising or events as our focus.

There are also good PR specialists and event organizers who can help to bring groups of potential and active participants together, or make them aware of our services and how to reach us.  Once again, we don't compete with them, but might work together with them to mutual benefit as we respond to the interests of specific groups of executives.

There have also been various initiatives to create portals or very specialized websites to serve the needs of corporate investors and area representatives, or to provide vast amounts of reference data or "do it yourself" tools for investors.  This business is not intended to compete with such initiatives.  On the contrary, we're happy to help introduce investors to existing resources such as these, and then let them take advantage of each as appropriate to their interests.  We try to make it easy to find the valuable services which are out there.

There are also extensive corporate real estate networks, and unique services such as CoStar and others which address various real estate aspects of the direct investment project market.  Similarly, there are other services in other professional disciplines which may prove to be valuable to investors for specific aspects of projects, as illustrated in the Contacts section.

The point is that GDI Solutions is not set up to compete with any of these.  It exists to bring them all together as a more efficient and effective marketplace for executives with direct investment projects to find what they are seeking, and develop successful projects faster and better, anywhere in the world.  We can't do it all.  We can, however, help executives to quickly find and reach the best services we have found.

The vision is to find ways to cooperate to mutual advantage with active participants to build a better marketplace, and provide innovative shared services which are only possible by selectively bringing participants with similar interests together, as in the case of GUIDE and SICR, to create more efficient solutions to common needs. 

For example, GDI Solutions would not intend to directly perform all of the independent research work necessary for GUIDE Area Reports or Experience Reports.  Instead, we develop a consistent service product in cooperation with participating executives, who help us define what is needed, and the work can be performed by one or more participating service providers worldwide.  Similarly, other new services can be developed through collaboration among the participants as innovative solutions which none of them might have been able to develop alone.

In summary, if you're having trouble equating GDI Solutions with any other service which you have encountered in this niche, that's OK. 

There is nothing comparable to our knowledge, and as indicated, please let us know if you discover something comparable, as we would certainly like to know of it.

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