I admit it: Business development (bizdev) seemed to me like an internet catch-all job with little definition, little standardization and–all too frequently–little meaning. And I say “admit” it and “seemed to me” because I know that’s a very negative generalization, often plain wrong. But there was a time when every next person in those awkward networking sessions was in “bizdev.”

It seemed at one point that business development was the title businesses gave to people who worked in marketing but didn’t have a clear job description.

However, as I look at it today, bizdev, done well, is an essential part of our business at Palo Alto Software. It really helped us grow. And some of our best people have carried that title. And my biased, old-fashioned view is really off base.  Business development has grown up.

I was delighted to see Seth Godin’s Blog: Understanding business development yesterday, because Godin takes a brief pause from his normal fare to go into a thorough and practical explanation of how important business development is, and what it does.

That includes six concrete examples of business development in the real world and 12 tips on how to do it better.

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.