Who’s a product guy? Sales? Marketing? Other?

September 13, 2008 – 3:46 pm by RM Crill

Top ten mistakes

10.  Being a wuss about incremental gains and releases (Perfect is the enemy of good)

9.  Belief that you’re always going to be the CEO (Noam)

  • Company stages

8.  Taking bad advice (Gary Ritner story)

  • Have they done it before, are they truly credible
  • Don’t ask me about your dev plan or choice of platform
  • Not enough data points (the dangerous rock star successful founder)
  • Not deep enough, advising beyond their expertise (financial advisor, accountant, attorney)

7. Won’t break-up with your business plan (run the business, move away from the planning stage)

  • Not Business plan, PPT Deck, Vision
  • Is sales pipeline, next release, customer objections, customer sat issues
  • The love affair needs to end

6.  Failure to embrace the stair step approach to sales (today’s model needn’t be tomorrow’s)

  • Findood example with telesales, same with LP  - led to direct sign-ups
  • MBS sell data first then marketplace
  • BeDynamic manual data updates and aggregation, slowly automate

5.  A 10% improvement won’t displace the market leader (need a radical change like LP or MG).

  • So many new browsers or social networks
  • LP – social, SAAS, recognizes how people work
  • MG – stats
  • CEC – first innovation in 50 years
  • Escapia – SAAS allows real-time booking
  • DMP – SAAS allows constant data updates and data aggregation biz plus collaboration (drug bust)
  • Findood – first online market maker in market

4.  A better business model isn’t and even if it is, it’s not enough.

  • Deals that will beat LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Google because they charge the model.
  • Deal that would beat eBay because listings were free but they charged the buyer.
  • The incumbent probably considered your model.  They may have tested it.  They have more resources and better market intelligence and they’ll copy if its better.
  • Even so, an improved model won’t generally be enough to attract the millions of users you need.

3.   Following the herd (web 2.0 – in contrast, Second Ave’s win with a drone, our wins with CEC, Expertcity, RVM.  Big wins are either early in a trend (early dot-com etailers, early social networks) or are just different).

2.  Failure to understand the market

  • You’re not the market and even if you’re typical, you’re only a data point.
  • Get out and sell, pre-sell, and don’t just talk to your mom.

1.   Listen, really listen to the critics.  Like the bunny says: It’s not them, it’s you.  Don’t brush them off.

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