Peter E. Cohan
Founder & Principal
Peter E. Cohan
The Second Derivative – Great Demo!
1532 Scenic Drive
Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of The Second Derivative and the author of the Great Demo! and Doing Discovery methodologies, focused on helping software organizations improve their presales, sales and marketing results – primarily through improving organizations’ discovery and demonstration skills.
The bulk of his experience is with complex, enterprise software and strategic systems sold to varied audiences in a range of vertical markets. He has enjoyed roles in technical and product marketing, marketing management, presales and presales management, sales and sales management, senior management and the C-Suite – as well as serving on Boards of Directors.
He has executed and delivered thousands of discovery conversations and demos – and has been on the receiving end of thousands of discovery calls and demos from a broad variety of vendors around the world, from start-ups to the world’s biggest software vendors, and verticals from accounting to zymology.
In 2003, he authored Great Demo!, a book that provides methods to create and execute compelling demonstrations. The 2nd edition of Great Demo! was published March 2005.
In July 2004, he enabled and began moderating DemoGurus®, a community web exchange dedicated to helping sales and marketing teams improve their software demonstrations, which was subsequently transitioned to the Great Demo! LinkedIn Group in 2010-2011.
In August 2022, he published Doing Discovery, a methodology providing a structured approach to discovery for B-to-B software vendors.
Before The Second Derivative, Peter founded the Discovery Tools® business unit at Symyx Technologies, Inc., where he grew the business from an empty spreadsheet into a $30 million per year operation. Prior to Symyx, Peter served in marketing, sales, and management positions at MDL Information Systems, a leading provider of scientific information management software. Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc., is an advisor to IN2SV, Inc. and a mentor to StartX, the Stanford University start-up accelerator. He holds a degree in chemistry.
Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, business development, and as a member of the C-suite. He has also been and continues to be a prospect and a customer.
Storytelling isn’t an art, it’s a science — and we teach it. With poorly structured demos being one of the main reasons that sales fail, we’ll teach you how to keep your customers engaged so that your
There are things you learn in life, things you are taught that are so relevant and so impactful that they stick with you for a lifetime. For me, ‘Great Demo!’ is not only about creating engaging demos, it’s a masterclass in ‘reverse chronology’ storytelling.
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