The difference between users and buyers of a product.

In 2009 I launched a medical device startup. We had a group of paramedics that was enthusiastic about a new product we were developing for cardiac arrest patients. These Paramedics were the users of my product. And they loved it. However, they had no power to buy it on their own.

For healthcare products (and many B2B products) the user and buyer of the product are different people. In this case, the buyer was a purchasing group, who in turn worked closely with insurance providers. These parties decided if the paramedics were even allowed to purchase the product.

At the beginning, we spent most of our time focused on users. And this was important. However, I would have engaged purchasing groups sooner to get an early read on their buying requirements.

Keep this in mind. For B2B products you need to satisfy both the buyer and the user — and each typically has very different requirements.