Can your product or service pass the Sinatra Test? You know how the song goes "If you can do it there, you can do it anywhere."
The issue is one of proving credibility of your product or service. If the most critical customer buy it, it should be good for everybody.
A reference who is well known critical consumer proves you have passed the Sinatra Test.
In the data warehousing business, Walmart is one of the leaders and if you can give them as a reference, you have passed the Sinatra Test.
In a recent project a reference from a credible third party, helps us get an important project. These references are worth their weight in gold. However you must earn your reference and reputation by doing good work.
I really like to metaphor and it really sticks with me. Comments?