Add comment April 4th, 2010
I started blogging on this site October 1, 2006 with “Welcome Entrepreneurs” and have written almost 600 blog posts since then. My opening paragraphs are still applicable to today:
This blog is dedicated to entrepreneurs at any stage of their journey. Both as individuals, in teams, and collectively we all hope to create a better world for our customers, our employees, our stakeholders, and our children.
My focus is helping startups find early customers for emerging technologies. This is very different from the traditional sales and marketing at established firms. Correctly identifying early customers who can be references to others is key to introducing emerging technologies.
Although emerging technologies change the rules and often enable far reaching growth most early adopters are focused on near term risks and benefits, and it is to those concerns entrepreneurial teams need to speak to get a foothold. The decision to act as a “beta” software site or early user of new software tools often resembles a hiring decision (does the prospective customer want to “hire the team”) more closely than a technology adoption decision.
Emerging technology marketing is a distinct domain from classical product marketing, most of the traditional market assessment techniques are not effective: focus groups, surveys, etc… Emerging markets require a strong commitment by the founding team to
- appreciating the prospective customer and customer’s view,
- rapidly evolving the product specification in response to feedback and customer experience,
- ongoing refinement and delivery of customer focused solutions.
Frankly I think that there is a lot of content that entrepreneurs would benefit from if only they could find it. One approach to addressing this need is to convert this blog into a book or two. Here is where I can use your help.
I am currently re-reading the blog from the beginning with an eye to extracting some key themes that would serve as a focus for a chapter or two. I think I want to use our “Startup Stages” as one model for organizing topics, here are three others:
- Looking at Team, Technology, and Traction as the building blocks for a bootstrapped startup.
- Looking at “Working Capital” as including not only financial capital and likely revenue but also intellectual capital (know how, experience, expertise) at an individual and founding team level and social capital (trust, connections, social navigation skills) at an individual and team level.
- The importance of customer development proceeding in parallel with product development until the startup can make the transition to a proven business model with the completion of customer validation and technology proof of concept.
Here is where I can use your help. Please contact me with any blog posts that you feel should be included as part of a chapter, any entrepreneurial stumbling blocks that bootstrapping entrepreneurs need to overcome you would like to see addressed, any blog posts you have found to be useless or misleading that you would want to see omitted or reworked extensively before they were included, and any other suggestions you have for extracting a useful narrative out of this set of 600 blog posts.