Startup

How to Navigate The Titanic Effect Blog

How to Navigate The Titanic Effect Blog

To the Titanic Effect followers: This is an exciting week for us. The printed copy of the book was released earlier this week! If you are new to the party, here is a brief video summarizing the book’s contents, with props from a few endorsers: http://bit.ly/TitanicEffect.

We have been writing a weekly blog since October. It has been a lot of fun and a good learning experience for us. We’ve creatively thought about how to package the book’s key contents in bite-sized morsels. To be honest, it is also a lot of work! But our followers have grown over that time. We hope this effort will continue to “scale” as the book gets out there. We also realized that the long scrolling list of blog topics online is quite a challenge to “navigate.” In fact, a newcomer might find it intimidating. Even a hard core follower might have difficulty finding that blog they liked on product/market fit, for example.

 With that in mind and to celebrate the book launch, we are using this week’s blog to recap our blogs by category, with a brief guide to how to “consume” them. This is a longer blog than usual, but we wanted to be comprehensive.

Know thy Competition

Know thy Competition

You have to be aware of your competition in order to establish customer value and differentiate yourself. That premise applies even to books like The Titanic Effect: Successfully Navigating the Uncertainties that Sink Most Startups. So, it’s time for us to take a look at our competition.

Most retailers are a bit of a “walled garden” in that they have lots of data they don’t share with the vendors whose wares they sell. This includes books. What we do know is which are the best-selling books in the categories of “startups,” “new business enterprises,” and “starting a business.” Of course, which specific books are in the top 3 to 10 do change over time. But for the last year, two books have held steady in the top 10, typically at #1 and #2. They are Peter Thiel’s Zero to One and Eric Ries’  The Lean Startup. So, let’s look at what makes our book different from these.

The Many Shades of “Proof of Concept,” your PoC

The Many Shades of “Proof of Concept,” your PoC

In a prior blog, we discussed the difference between PoPs (Points of Parity) and PoDs (Points of Differentiation). Now it is time to talk about PoC—Proof of Concept. While this seems relatively straight forward, there are actually many nuances to and perspectives on what constitutes “Proof of Concept.” Understanding how to frame and set expectations about PoC is an important discussion for the budding startup.

Metrics, Metrics: Which Marketing Metrics Should Your Startup Keep Track Of?

Metrics, Metrics: Which Marketing Metrics Should Your Startup Keep Track Of?

We’ve all heard the phrase, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” But after reviewing several dozen startup updates and seeing blogpost after blogpost with lists of metrics, it feels like a founder could spend a significant amount of time just compiling and tracking metrics. Every investor has their favorite metric. So, many startups end up monitoring nearly everything. Or, the opposite – monitoring nothing. 

The Most Important Marketing Iceberg by Startup Stage

The Most Important Marketing Iceberg by Startup Stage

We’ve started doing workshops using key ideas from our book, The Titanic Effect: Successfully Navigating the Uncertainties that Sink Most Startups. The goal of these workshops is to help startups identify which icebergs can be the biggest challenge by startup stage. Because, the primary tasks a startup undertakes changes by stage. So too, do the challenges they face.

What to Look For in Startup Advisors

What to Look For in Startup Advisors

It’s clear that startups cannot “go it alone.” First, a founder needs to be coachable - learn more about coachability at our previous blogpost on Foundersplaining. They need supporters to help them get connected to employees, customers and investors. If you want to understand more about how and why supporters (we call them venture advocates) help startups, check out our academic article – Venture Advocate Behaviors and the Emerging Enterprise.

It takes a Village…or at least a first Podcast!

Well actually, it takes a venture ecosystem to help startups flourish. Our academic research  explores venture ecosystems and how founders can create positive momentum, even when they don’t have a lot of financial resources. The reality is that founders must rely on the help of many others in the venture community to get feedback

Positioning: What Makes You Different and Better?

Positioning: What Makes You Different and Better?

In an earlier post about marketing strategy, we suggested that there are 3 key questions startups need to answer:

  1. Who are you talking to?  That’s your Target Market.

  2. What are you talking to them about?  This is the Frame of Reference, or the product category, or the group of competitors.

  3. Why should they choose you?  This is your Point of Differentiation.

The Price is Right?

The Price is Right?

Pricing is one of the hardest decisions, for both startups and larger firms. Price too low and there’s not enough profit; you leave money on the table. Price too high and you can’t get enough customers or build traction. Add in that many people see price as an indicator of quality. For those people, pricing too low indicates that your product offering isn’t valuable. What is the target market willing to pay? This question can be hard to answer.