Validating Your MVP & Value Proposition at Lean Startup Circle SF Apr-2

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events, Lean Startup, Workshop

Join us in San Francisco for an interactive workshop “Validating your MVP & Value Proposition.”  We will cover a variety of proven techniques for validating your MVP & value proposition for B2B startups.

Register NowWhen: 5:30-8:30 PM Tue-Apr-2-2013
Where: 1355 Market, Suite 488, San Francisco
Cost: $60

This interactive workshop will provide:

  1. Systematic approach to validating your MVP & your value proposition
  2. Understand who buys your product and how they calculate its value and total cost
  3. Explore different options for reaching them
  4. Learn how to track efforts and measure results
  5. Determining when to pivot and when to persevere

We will cover:

  • What is MVP?
  • How much do I need to talk to people about my MVP?
  • Techniques for Validation
  • Where to find people to validate Your MVP?
  • Iterating your MVP for problem validation, customer validation, market niche exploration, and product launch

SKMurphy Workshop

May 21 at IEEE-CNSV: Successful Consulting Engagements With Startups

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

I will be moderating a panel on “Successful Consulting Engagements with Startups” at the May 21 IEEE-CNSV meeting. The genesis was an e-mail thread on the CNSV list last June that started with this question:

I have a new client which is a very-early-stage start-up, funded by one of the founders out of the proceeds from the sale of a previous company.  They would like to pay me for my time using a cash/equity mix.  No doubt some of you have done this before, so what pointers can you offer as to structuring the arrangement?  It’s a small amount of work, so the downside risk is low, and at some point I’d expect it would switch to all-cash compensation.

There were a number of good comments contributed either on the list directly or in subsequent face to face discussions at CNSV meetings and this panel is an effort to walk around the set of issues that consultants face working for very early stage firms and very early stage firms face in trying to assess and contract with consultants.

When:  Tuesday, May 21, 2013 7:00 PM
Cost: Free / No RSVP needed
Where: Agilent Technologies, Inc. – Aristotle Room, Bldg. 5 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95051 (Map & Directions)

Startups often need a consultant’s expertise but their limited resources can make for riskier and more complex fee arrangements than larger companies. A panel of three consultants–two of whom are also serial entrepreneurs who have founded technology startups–will offer their perspective on the practical realities of working for startups. This session will outline important tips and issues to consider if you are exploring investing your time working as a consultant for a startup. The panel will share their rules of thumb and stories from the trenches. Consultants and technology entrepreneurs are invited to take part in a candid discussion.

Panel:

  • Chris Apple, Software Consultant at Apple Enterprises
    Chris Apple founded Apple Enterprises in 1981; he specializes in embedded firmware, control software and application software. He develops the embedded product, the PC control application, the manufacturing and calibration application and even the installer: he takes a concept and makes it a product.
  • C. M. Kip Clyde Brown, PE, Principal at CMBJR Consulting, Inc.
    Kip Clyde Brown, PE is a Professional Engineer with IC design experience in analog and mixed signal. In addition to his consulting experience he does expert witness work and is an at-large director of IEEE-CNSV. He has also founded three startups and will be able to provide insights from both sides of the table on the topic of startups hiring consultants.
  • Arthur Keller Ph.D., Managing Partner at Minerva Consulting
    Dr. Arthur M. Keller is Managing Partner of Minerva Consulting. Dr. Keller serves as an expert witness on patent infringement cases and as advisor to startups. He has served on the board of several startups, including Persistence Software, where he was Chief Technical Advisor prior to its IPO. He has also co-founded several startups, including Mergent Systems, which was acquired by Commerce One.
  • Moderator: Sean Murphy, CEO of SKMurphy, Inc
    Sean Murphy founded SKMurphy, Inc in 2003 to focus on the marketing and sales challenges that technology firms face in introducing new products successfully. He has helped with hundreds of technology entrepreneurs either in a direct consulting capacity, through hands on workshops, or by moderating more than 250 Bootstrapper Breakfasts® in Silicon Valley since 2006.

This talk will share

  • Tips for engaging with startups
  • Tips for getting paid
  • Rules of thumb about taking equity
  • Managing IP issues.
  • Lesson learned

How To Bootstrap Your Start-Up at ASL Mar-27-2013

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 1 Idea Stage, 3 Early Customer Stage, Events, skmurphy

Update Mar-27-2013: Slides and audio for this event are now available at “Slides and Audio from How To Bootstrap at ASLCPA Mar 27


Please RSVPI have been asked by the Emerging Business Group at Abbott, Stringham and Lynch to give a talk on “How to Bootstrap Your Start-Up.”

If you are a technology entrepreneurs who doesn’t fit the typical profile for a first time VC investment you can find it very difficult to generate interest in a business that is still at the planning stage. If you persevere because you want to solve a critical problem or create new possibilities for your customers, you need to start building your business with only limited financial resources.

Bootstrapping does not preclude seeking investment when your active business merits and requires it. But it starts by making a difference and building a real business as proof of both the need for and the value of your products.

I will addresses what you and your team need to do to bootstrap your business: to find early customers and early revenue using internal cash flow and organic profits. I will draw on my experiences with clients at SKMurphy, Inc. and insights I have gleaned from the more than 250 Bootstrapper Breakfasts I have attended since October of 2006. The ASL Emerging Business Seminars are famous for being very interactive and mine will be no exception: I welcome your questions and insights if you are able to join us.

Date:  March 27, 2013
Time: 11:30 am Lunch /  12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Presentation
Where:  1550 Leigh Ave., San Jose, CA 95125
Cost: Free
Register: http://aslbootstrapping-eorg.eventbrite.com/


ASL also offers a great New Business Startup Guide you can request at http://aslcpa.com/new-business-form/

Chris Kane: Great Demo’s Impact On The VendorRisk Sales Presentation

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Demos, Events, skmurphy

We reach out to past attendees of the Great Demo workshop and ask them how they have applied the principles and techniques covered and what the impact has been on their business. Chris Kane of VendorRisk attended a workshop in 2012 and sent us this detailed response. It is reproduced here with his permission.

Great Demo’s Impact On The VendorRisk Sales Presentation

Software demos are the cornerstone of our sales process. We had successfully demonstrated our service to many prospects and closed a number of deals before we attended the Great Demo workshop, but we still felt that there was room for improvement.

One of the big changes we have made in putting the Great Demo methods into practice has been to cut the running time of our demo from an hour and 15 minutes or even two hours down to about 30 or 35 minutes. VendorRisk is a SaaS app, so our demos involve setting up the story, showing a few screenshots, and switching to the live app depending upon the prospect’s areas of interest.

Looking back we tended to bounce from topic to topic and feature to feature using a training model as our structure. Now we use a progression of simple to complex stories and use cases. As a result, our prospects more easily connect with how they can use the software for the commonly occurring–and then the less commonly occurring–situations that come up in managing vendor contracts.

We have also introduced a 15-minute phone conversation in advance of the main demo to help better understand a prospect’s critical business issues before we start the first demonstration. This has been very well received: our newer customers have told us that they feel like we’ve really listened to their needs and are showing them a demo tailored specifically for them–despite the fact that almost all our customers have the exact same issues! It’s increased our confidence going into the demo because we have fewer surprise issues or areas of concern.

We have seen the benefits of this preparation and change in delivery style in an increase in the percentage of prospects who become customers.

Chris Kane, Partner, VendorRisk

Related Blog Posts

 Great Demo! Public Workshop October 15-16, 2014

October 15&16, 2014 “Great Demo!” San Jose, CA Register Now

Our next public Great Demo! Workshop is scheduled to take place October 15-16 in San Jose, California.

This is an excellent opportunity for individuals, small groups or for teams that have new hires.

We’ve found that these events are most productive when there are two or more participants from each organization (singletons are also fine). This helps to mimic real-life interactions as much as possible, both when preparing demos and delivering them in the role-play sessions.

Engineering Your Sales Process Workshop Feb-8 Early Bird Closes This Weekend

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 2 Open for Business Stage, 3 Early Customer Stage, 4 Finding your Niche, 5 Scaling Up Stage, Events, Sales, skmurphy

Register Now Just a heads up that the early bird rates for our next “Engineering Your Sales Process®” Workshop close Sun-Jan-28.

This is the same workshop that Scott Sambucci and Sean Murphy offered at the Lean Startup Conference in December 2012 but we are limiting the attendance to 12 entrepreneurs to allow it to be even more interactive and in depth. Our focus is on entrepreneurs who are selling complex new products to businesses and face these challenges among others:

  • You can’t get potential customers to call back.
  • Prospects won’t make a decision.
  • Prospects like what they see in beta and ask for extensions but will not buy (yet).
  • Your deals stall.
  • Prospect stays with the status quo.

This interactive workshop will help you learn from these problems by using conscious planning and experimentation. Traditional sales training stresses “every no moves you closer to a yes.” Our approach to engineering your sales process says instead, “What looks like noise is often actually data.” Designing and debugging a repeatable sales process is key to a sustainable business, and we’ll address how to diagnose common problems to determine likely root causes. You will leave with a scientific approach to understanding your customers’ needs and their buying process so that you can scale your business in harmony with it.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:

Sean Murphy, CEO of SKMurphy, Inc. has taken an entrepreneurial approach to life since he could drive. He has served as an advisor to dozens of startups, helping them explore risk-reducing business options and build a scalable, repeatable sales process. SKMurphy, Inc. focuses on early customers and early revenue for software startups, helping engineers to understand business development. Their clients have offerings in electronic design automation, artificial intelligence, web-enabled collaboration, proteomics, text analytics, legal services automation, and medical services workflow.

Scott Sambucci is the Chief Sales Geek at SalesQualia, a company dedicated to improving sales performance. With more than 10 years in Silicon Valley and 15 years in sales, management, and entrepreneurial roles in the software and data industries, Scott merges the attributes of a successful salesperson and entrepreneur, putting his experience to work for SalesQualia clients every day. He’s lectured at numerous universities across the world, presented at TEDxHultBusinessSchool in San Francisco, and recently published  “Startup Selling: How To Sell If You Really Really Have To And Don’t Know How.”

Register Now

Bootstrapper Breakfast Comes to Tampa Thu-Jan-24

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

Come join other Tampa Bay area entrepreneurs who eat problems for breakfast.  At a Bootstrappers Breakfast® we have serious conversations about growing a business based on internal cash flow and organic profit: this is for founders who are actively bootstrapping a startup.

After Ramesh Sambasivan moved from Philadelphia to Tampa he missed the Bootstrapper Breakfasts and approached us to organize one. He is the cofounder iTradeFair.com, Inc., a SaaS company that delivers specialized virtual events and promotional tools. Earlier, Ramesh was a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers delivering technology and business transformation projects for large corporations, and a Business Analyst at American Airlines. Ramesh has an MBA from Oklahoma State University, and is a certified cost accountant from the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India. He blogs at blog.sambasivan.com

If you are interested in attending a Bootstrapper Breakfast and there isn’t one in your area, consider volunteering to start one. Please contact us if you would like to learning more.

Openings for Mastermind Group

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events

We have openings for our Mastermind Groups geared for technical entrepreneurs.

for CEOs

Entrepreneurs who wanted to form an advisory board of peers with a deeper understanding of each other’s businesses and shared accountability.

for CTOs

We have found that the CTO has a unique role on a startup team: they are expected to be fully immersed in a product’s technical architecture and roadmap but are also expected to take part in closing business with major customers. Our Mastermind group is designed to provide an advisory board you can brainstorm and compare notes with. I will help to facilitate a single conversation among a small group of peers to discuss issues and challenges, encourage peer-to-peer critique and guidance on critical business issues. My belief is that the group will help you to rise above everyday operational challenges to periodically focus on strategic planning and long-term growth issues.

Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to present their businesses issues, share referrals, and advise one another in a confidential, supportive environment during two meetings a month with eight qualified members.

Interested …  Check it out at an upcoming open house:

Time: Jan 23 6-8pm

Location: Pacific Business Centers (Board Room), 19925 Stevens Creek Blvd, Suite 100, Cupertino, CA 95014

There is no charge for this open house but if you decide to join a facilitated small group there is a small monthly subscription.

Register Now button

Register at http://www.meetup.com/BayAreaMastermind/events/83488092/

Where Do Lean Startup Methods Help Most?

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Customer Development, Events, skmurphy

The Lean Startup 2012 conference clarified where Lean Startup principles are especially applicable:

  • Emerging markets,
  • Industries that are being disrupted,
  • Companies that have fallen behind the innovation curve.

All of these situations are characterized by the need for exploration and discovery instead of continued execution of the current business model. Firms facing these situations need to treat product ideas and business strategies as hypotheses and run experiments in short iteration loops and small batches to validate or falsify them before committing to scale. They need to engage in serious conversations with prospects, observe the actual environment where the product will be used, and determine the value of an innovation by customer adoption and payment.

Emerging Markets

In emerging markets the “rules of thumb” have yet to be established. This requires startups to leave the BatCave and go and see the ground truth of their customer’s needs and constraints. Established firms have to be willing to revisit key aspects of their product offering and go to market strategy to align them with new market expectations and requirements. Established firms have to adjust internal incentive structures that reward more efficient execution of the current business model to prioritize exploration and experimentation. Startups attempting to scale based on their initial model or established firms scaling based on a model proven in another market  will likely either fail to gain traction or be significantly outperformed by firms who had the patience to validate the key assumptions in their model.

One example of embedding exploration of customer needs into a new service offering was provided by Adam Goldstein of Hipmunk. The Hipmunk team made a text chat option available on every page of their site, answering questions directly. This allowed their customers to ask for help or report a problem without leaving the current webpage. It was now very easy for their customers to provide feedback (and for the founders to engage in short conversations) compared to a standard feedback or submit a bug form; this approach also preserved the context of what the customer was trying to accomplish. The promise of an immediate response in a short text chat offered a much lower friction channel to the customer. Although it was less efficient for the founders, it gave them access to many insights about site features and drawbacks that they might have otherwise taken much longer to learn.

A second example of new market exploration was provided by Jocelyn Wyatt of IDEO.org, who shared her experiences in rapidly validating–or disproving in several cases–some key assumptions that her team made in approaching the challenge of improving sanitation in West Africa. They ultimately arrived at solution that married a disposal service with a home toilet, turning it into a portable septic tank that is emptied three times a week.

Disrupted Industries

Industries that are being disrupted where the established incumbents need to incorporate new business models and new technologies into what are proven but obsolete offerings. Some examples are:

  • Media
  • Product development / Outsourcing
  • Health care
  • Education
  • Government

Because these industries are undergoing restructuring, companies and organizations can no longer execute business plans developed and refined years ago. They must in fact go back to the customer development, running short term experiments and testing the impact. They need take a more exploratory or discovery-driven approach to planning their operating environment makes long term forecast problematic. They also need to take a wider view of potential competition: they are as likely to be challenged by competitors from adjacent markets or even some armed with technologies initially developed for entirely different industries.

Mark Graban‘s talk outlined a very interesting approach to patient centric hospital design, arguing that some hospitals were designed to impress visitors with a large atrium that does not contribute to care, or  in a parallelogram shaped buildings that is architecturally striking but creates triangular internal rooms that have very poor utility. By analyzing traffic patterns of doctors and nurses in existing hospitals and rapidly prototyping individual treatment rooms, new hospitals and care facilities can be built more rapidly, on a smaller footprint at lower cost and yet enable a better quality of care. In addition, a continuous improvement approach to refining treatment practices once the facility is finished allows the quality of care to continue to get better. He cited a hospital in Indiana that was able to effect more than 4,000 small improvements that in the aggregate eliminated millions of dollars in cost, cut treatment delays, and improved patient outcomes.

Boosting the Innovation Curve

A third category is companies that are not actively facing disruption but realize that they have fallen behind the innovation curve and want to improve before competitors or new entrants mount a successful assault. This normally involves the need to make a series of small improvements that can catalyze further change: a “small wins” approach

One example of a company embracing their need for game changing approaches was Intuit.  There was an extended conversation among senior managers and change agents that explored how they were moving from decisions based on politics and PowerPoint to decisions based on data and customer validation.

Kuty Shalev related how the Port Authority incorporated new technologies into track management without losing any of the affordances of current solutions. Many aspects of the day-to-day operation of the trains were already computerized, but they were relying on a whiteboard to help manage context and maintenance (a whiteboard that was erased every day so history and trends were lost) and cell phones to help facilitate troubleshooting. By adding tablets that could also take pictures and allow them to be marked up they preserved the critical strengths of the current system: wireless, beeperless, and functional even if Internet connectivity was lost. His firm assisted in the transformation by focusing on small changes quickly: making initial improvements visible within a week and deploying a new system in 90 days. By focusing on small wins and meeting in a small conference room he forced trade-offs to be made by only the most interested.

Lean Startup methods recognize that new markets in particular require a scientific approach of thoughtful experimentation and iteration–-also known as “trial and error”-–to determine what will work and what won’t. It takes an engineering approach to defining the “known unknowns” about your customer, your product, and your business model but still respects the value of entrepreneurial vision and insight in crafting new hypotheses. Lean Startup principles are especially applicable to emerging markets, industries that are being disrupted and companies that have fallen behind the innovation curve.

Related articles and blog posts:

LSC Workshop on Engineering Your Sales Process

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events, Sales, Startups

If you missed SKMurphy and SalesQualia at Lean Startup Conference’s workshop, Sean Murphy and Scott Sambucci led an interactive workshop on developing and debugging your repeatable and scalable B2B sales process. In the workshop, we worked a number of sales issues that the attendees from lean startups had:

  • Can’t get potential customers to call back
  • Won’t make a decision
  • Prospects like the beta, but they will not buy
  • Deals stall

Quick Summary

Engineering Your Sales Process workshop will help you learn from common sales problems by using conscious planning and experimentation. Traditional sales training stresses “every no moves you closer to a yes.” Our approach to engineering your sales process says instead, “What looks like noise is often actually data.” Designing and debugging a repeatable sales process is key to a sustainable business, and we’ll address how to diagnose common problems to determine likely root causes. You will leave with a scientific approach to understanding your customers’ needs and their buying process so that you can scale your business in harmony with it.

You can view the slides at http://www.slideshare.net/SalesQualia/engineering-your-sales-process.

Also here is the link to a readable version of the sales map in mindomo http://www.mindomo.com/view?m=e18b84e308994b1d95a032583f3885bcces

Workshop feedback

Lean Startup Conference 2012 Roundup

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Customer Development, Events, skmurphy

This post curates content and commentary related to the 2012 Lean Startup Conference: videos, blog posts, slides, articles, etc..

Lean Startup Conference Main Program Mon-Dec-3-2012

Opening Remarks by Eric Ries

Lean Government

Running Short Experiments During a Long Product Cycle

Ten Ways to Get Out of the Building

What Is Innovation Accounting?

Bringing Lean Startup to Life at GE, One of the World’s Biggest Companies

Prototyping to Validate a Big Idea at Getaround

Fast, Cheap and In Control: Testing the Market for a New Kind of Car

I (Heart) Ugly

Secrets of Rapid Mobile App Development

On the Way to Lean Startup: Curvy and Working it Out

Failure is Great and Other Myths of the Lean Startup

How Engineers Embrace The Lean Startup

We Went to West Africa and Learned Our Key Assumptions Were Wrong

Moving Fast While Caring About Design at Hipmunk

Testing MVPs with Crowdfunding

Making Decisions By Ignoring Sales Metrics

Lean Content: Using Words To Acquire Customers

10,000 Startups

Running a Lean Startup Sales Process

Bonfire of the Vanity Metrics: Numbers You’re Still Using and Shouldn’t

Innovation Accounting in Practice

Lean Marketing

How To Run a 5 Whys (With Humans, Not Robots)

The Challenge of Sustaining Disruptive Innovation When You Meet Success

Creating a Culture of Experimentation: Ideas and Best Practices

One Year Later: Dropbox Answers Your Questions

Making the Call on a Platform Pivot

Lessons Learned Getting Out Of The Building

One Year Later: Lessons from Votizen

A Conversation with Marc Andreessen

Lean Startup Conference Ignite Talks on Sun-Dec-2-2012

Lean Startup Approach to PR

Lessons Learned Rebooting Moveline

Lean Startup in the Enterprise

Just Deploy It

Building a Lean Mean Design Team

Why Every Startup Employee Should Learn to Code

When You Are the Disruptee

Lean Your Marketing

The Psychology of Pivoting

Diagnosing Customer Problems

It’s Not What You Think (Leap of Faith Assumptions)

The I of the Storm

New York Port Authority Goes Lean

Why Big Media Companies Should Go Lean

Parallels Between Lean Startups and Lean Hospitals

Lean Startup Conference Workshops Tue-Dec-4-2012

Validate Your Learning Engines

Build Successful (and Sane) Iterative Apps

Lean Analytics: Using Data to Build a Better Startup Faster

Lean Startup in the Enterprise

The Lean Entrepreneur: Embrace the Unknown to Go Big

Engineering Your Sales Process

Lean Startup Conference Commentary and Other Roundups

Related Blog Posts

Engineering Your Sales Process Workshop on February 8, 2013

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events, Sales

All companies, even those that take a lean approach, face these problems in B2B sales:

  • You can’t get potential customers to call back
  • They won’t make a decision
  • They seem to like a ever-ending beta, but they will not buy
  • Your deals stall

This interactive workshop will help you learn from these problems by using conscious planning and experimentation. Traditional sales training stresses “every no moves you closer to a yes.” Our approach to engineering your sales process says instead, “What looks like noise is often actually data.” Designing and debugging a repeatable sales process is key to a sustainable business, and we’ll address how to diagnose common problems to determine likely root causes. You will leave with a scientific approach to understanding your customers’ needs and their buying process so that you can scale your business in harmony with it.

Early Bird $99

Regular $129

Register Engineering Your Sales Process

Where: Silicon Valley, CA

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:

Sean Murphy, CEO of SKMurphy, Inc. has taken an entrepreneurial approach to life since he could drive. He has served as an advisor to dozens of startups, helping them explore risk-reducing business options and build a scalable, repeatable sales process. SKMurphy, Inc. focuses on early customers and early revenue for software startups, helping engineers to understand business development. Their clients have offerings in electronic design automation, artificial intelligence, web-enabled collaboration, proteomics, text analytics, legal services automation, and medical services workflow.

Scott Sambucci is the Chief Sales Geek at SalesQualia, a company dedicated to improving sales performance. With more than 10 years in Silicon Valley and 15 years in sales, management, and entrepreneurial roles in the software and data industries, Scott merges the attributes of a successful salesperson and entrepreneur, putting his experience to work for SalesQualia clients every day. He’s lectured at numerous universities across the world, presented at TEDxHultBusinessSchool in San Francisco, and recently published “Startup Selling: How to sell if you really, really have to and don’t know how.”

Great Demo! Workshop on March 6 & 7, 2013

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Demos, Events, Sales

Create and Deliver Surprisingly Compelling Software Demonstrations
“Do The Last Thing First” — the recipe for a Great Demo!

This is an interactive workshop with Peter Cohan geared especially for you who demonstrate B-to-B software to your customer and channels. Bring a copy of your demo and be prepared to present it — we’ll help you turn it into a surprisingly compelling demo. More information

Core Seminar & Advanced Topics
March 6 & 7, 2013
Cost: $930 (Before Feb 4: $895)
Register Great Demo

Where: Moorpark Hotel, 4241 Moorpark Ave, San Jose CA 95129
For out of town attendees: The Moorpark is located 400 feet from the Saratoga Ave exit on Hwy 280, about 7 miles from San Jose Airport and 35 miles from San Francisco Airport Hotels Near Great Demo! Workshop

“I am confident that with the insights gained from your workshop we will land more customers in fewer iterations.”
Lav Pachuri, CEO, Xleron Inc.

“Peter Cohan’s Great Demo method really works. It helped us win DEMOgod, and it has allowed us to explain our offering much more clearly to prospects.”
Chaim Indig, CEO, Phreesia
(See “DEMOgod Winner Phreesia Praises Peter Cohan Training“)

More information on the workshop

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Cohan, Principal at The Second Derivative
Community Web Site:  http://greatdemo.blogspot.com/

Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of The Second Derivative, focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results – primarily through improving organizations’ demonstrations.

The bulk of his experience is with complex, enterprise software and strategic systems sold to varied audiences in a range of vertical markets.  He has enjoyed roles in technical and product marketing, marketing management, sales and sales management, and senior management.

In 2003, he authored Great Demo!, a book that provides methods to create and execute compelling demonstrations.  The 2nd edition of Great Demo! was published March, 2005.

In July 2004, he enabled and began moderating DemoGurus®, a community web exchange dedicated to helping sales and marketing teams improve their software demonstrations, which was subsequently transitioned to the Great Demo! LinkedIn Group in 2010-2011.

Before The Second Derivative, Peter founded the Discovery Tools® business unit at Symyx Technologies, Inc., where he grew the business from an empty spreadsheet into a $30 million per year operation.  Prior to Symyx, Peter served in marketing, sales, and management positions at MDL Information Systems, a leading provider of scientific information management software.  Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc., is an advisor to NewallStreet, Inc. and a mentor to StartX, the Stanford University start-up accelerator.  He holds a degree in chemistry.

Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development.  He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.

Day 1 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins
  • Noon Lunch
  • 1 PM Workshop Continues
  • 5 PM Wrap up

Day 2 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins on Advanced Topics
  • 12:30pm Wrap up

Seating is Limited

For more information: Theresa 408-252-9676 events@skmurphy.com

Great Demo! Workshop on May 22-23, 2013

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Demos, Events, Sales

Create and Deliver Surprisingly Compelling Software Demonstrations
“Do The Last Thing First” — the recipe for a Great Demo!

This is an interactive workshop with Peter Cohan geared especially for you who demonstrate B-to-B software to your customer and channels. Bring a copy of your demo and be prepared to present it — we’ll help you turn it into a surprisingly compelling demo. More information

Core Seminar & Advanced Topics
May 22 & 23, 2013
Cost: $930 (Before April-20: $895)
Register Great Demo

Where: Moorpark Hotel, 4241 Moorpark Ave, San Jose CA 95129
For out of town attendees: The Moorpark is located 400 feet from the Saratoga Ave exit on Hwy 280, about 7 miles from San Jose Airport and 35 miles from San Francisco Airport Hotels Near Great Demo! Workshop

“I am confident that with the insights gained from your workshop we will land more customers in fewer iterations.”
Lav Pachuri, CEO, Xleron Inc.

“Peter Cohan’s Great Demo method really works. It helped us win DEMOgod, and it has allowed us to explain our offering much more clearly to prospects.”
Chaim Indig, CEO, Phreesia
(See “DEMOgod Winner Phreesia Praises Peter Cohan Training“)

More information on the workshop

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Cohan, Principal at The Second Derivative
Community Web Site:  http://greatdemo.blogspot.com/

Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of The Second Derivative, focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results – primarily through improving organizations’ demonstrations.

The bulk of his experience is with complex, enterprise software and strategic systems sold to varied audiences in a range of vertical markets.  He has enjoyed roles in technical and product marketing, marketing management, sales and sales management, and senior management.

In 2003, he authored Great Demo!, a book that provides methods to create and execute compelling demonstrations.  The 2nd edition of Great Demo! was published March, 2005.

In July 2004, he enabled and began moderating DemoGurus®, a community web exchange dedicated to helping sales and marketing teams improve their software demonstrations, which was subsequently transitioned to the Great Demo! LinkedIn Group in 2010-2011.

Before The Second Derivative, Peter founded the Discovery Tools® business unit at Symyx Technologies, Inc., where he grew the business from an empty spreadsheet into a $30 million per year operation.  Prior to Symyx, Peter served in marketing, sales, and management positions at MDL Information Systems, a leading provider of scientific information management software.  Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc., is an advisor to NewallStreet, Inc. and a mentor to StartX, the Stanford University start-up accelerator.  He holds a degree in chemistry.

Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development.  He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.

Day 1 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins
  • Noon Lunch
  • 1 PM Workshop Continues
  • 5 PM Wrap up

Day 2 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins on Advanced Topics
  • 12:30pm Wrap up

Seating is Limited

For more information: Theresa 408-252-9676 events@skmurphy.com

Great Demo! Workshop on Oct 9 &10, 2013

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Demos, Events, Sales

Create and Deliver Surprisingly Compelling Software Demonstrations
“Do The Last Thing First” — the recipe for a Great Demo!

This is an interactive workshop with Peter Cohan geared especially for you who demonstrate B-to-B software to your customer and channels. Bring a copy of your demo and be prepared to present it — we’ll help you turn it into a surprisingly compelling demo. More information

Core Seminar & Advanced Topics
October 9 & 10, 2013
Cost: $930 (Before Sep-8: $895)
Eventbrite - Great Demo! Workshop on Oct 9 & 10, 2013

Where: Moorpark Hotel, 4241 Moorpark Ave, San Jose CA 95129
For out of town attendees: The Moorpark is located 400 feet from the Saratoga Ave exit on Hwy 280, about 7 miles from San Jose Airport and 35 miles from San Francisco Airport Hotels Near Great Demo! Workshop

“I am confident that with the insights gained from your workshop we will land more customers in fewer iterations.”
Lav Pachuri, CEO, Xleron Inc.

“Peter Cohan’s Great Demo method really works. It helped us win DEMOgod, and it has allowed us to explain our offering much more clearly to prospects.”
Chaim Indig, CEO, Phreesia
(See “DEMOgod Winner Phreesia Praises Peter Cohan Training“)

More information on the workshop

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Cohan, Principal at The Second Derivative
Community Web Site:  http://greatdemo.blogspot.com/

Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of The Second Derivative, focused on helping software organizations improve their sales and marketing results–primarily by improving organizations’ demonstrations.

The bulk of his experience is with complex, enterprise software and strategic systems sold to varied audiences in a range of vertical markets.  He has enjoyed roles in technical and product marketing, marketing management, sales and sales management, and senior management.

In 2003, he authored Great Demo!, a book that provides methods to create and execute compelling demonstrations.  The 2nd edition of Great Demo! was published March, 2005.

In July 2004, he enabled and began moderating DemoGurus®, a community web exchange dedicated to helping sales and marketing teams improve their software demonstrations, which was subsequently transitioned to the Great Demo! LinkedIn Group in 2010-2011.

Before The Second Derivative, Peter founded the Discovery Tools® business unit at Symyx Technologies, Inc., where he grew the business from an empty spreadsheet into a $30 million per year operation.  Prior to Symyx, Peter served in marketing, sales, and management positions at MDL Information Systems, a leading provider of scientific information management software.  Peter currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc., is an advisor to NewallStreet, Inc. and a mentor to StartX, the Stanford University start-up accelerator.  He holds a degree in chemistry.

Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development.  He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.

Day 1 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins
  • Noon Lunch
  • 1 PM Workshop Continues
  • 5 PM Wrap up

Day 2 Agenda:

  • 8:15 AM Breakfast & Registration
  • 8:30 AM Workshop begins on Advanced Topics
  • 12:30pm Wrap up

Seating is Limited

For more information: Theresa 408-252-9676 events@skmurphy.com

Startup Founders Announced for Working For Equity Panel at SVCC 2012

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 1 Idea Stage, 2 Open for Business Stage, 3 Early Customer Stage, 4 Finding your Niche, Events, Founder Story, skmurphy

For the third year in a row I will moderate a panel of startup founders sharing lesson learned bootstrapping a technology startup at Silicon Valley Code Camp. This “Working for Equity” session will be on Sunday Oct 7 at 9:15am.

Here is the announcement

Many of us in Silicon Valley seek to found or be an early employee at a technology startup. If you aspire to create a startup come take part in a conversation with four  startup founders about what’s really involved in leaving your day job and striking out on your own or with partners. The startup founders range from serial entrepreneurs to first-time CEOs, they will share their vision, drive and passion as they discuss the nuts and bolts of following their dreams to building something that will change the world.

  • Lenny Greenberg CTO of Assityx, Inc.
    Lenny Greenberg is founder and CTO of Assistyx, leading developer of assistive communication products, including the award-winning TapToTalk app that help individuals with physical and mental challenges reach their full potential. A serial entrepreneur, Lenny has led organizations in planning and developing advanced technology-based products.
  • Ruoting Sun, co-founder of Temvi, Inc.
    Ruoting Sun is co-founder of Temvi, a Mountain View based startup focused on simplifying social discovery. Temvi enables users to easily find, share, and experience cool events that are happening around them, based on their interests and passions. Routing is a first time entrepreneur heading a team of 5 others in creating a mobile app for social discovery.
  • Sam King, CEO of ExpressMango, Inc.
    After working as a key contributor to many startups, Sam King co-founded Express Mango, a the social networking appointment system. Express Mango’s online scheduling and appointment reminders reduce no shows. The facebook virtual receptionist helps grow your business 24/7/365.
  • Giacomo Vacca, CEO of Kinetic River, Corp.
    Giacomo Vacca founded Kinetic River to focus on products and services at the intersection of laser optics, microfluidics and medical diagnostic devices. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in Physics from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University. His most recent honors are having been elected to Senior Member of the Optical Society of America and to Research Fellow of the Volwiler Society at Abbott Laboratories.
  • Moderator: Sean Murphy, CEO of SKMurphy Inc.
    Sean Murphy has taken an entrepreneurial approach to life since he could drive. His firm specializes in early stage and emerging market technology companies who are challenged either by new product introduction or the need to diversify beyond their initial success.

Silicon Valley Code Camp is an amazing experience that has improved each of the five years that I have attended. It’s held at Foothill College (12345 El Monte Road,  Los Altos Hills, CA 94022) and this year will convent the weekend of Saturday October 6th and Sunday October 7th. There is no charge to attend.

Register your interest in attending Code Camp at http://www.siliconvalley-codecamp.com/Register.aspx

Register your interest in attending the  Sunday Oct 7 9:15am “Working for Equity” session at
http://www.siliconvalley-codecamp.com/Sessions.aspx?sessionid=942

Mastermind Open House 11am Sat-Sep-22-2012 at GroundFloorSV

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

When:  11am to 1pm Sat-Sep-20
Where: Ground Floor Silicon Valley, 2030 Duane Avenue, Santa Clara, CA
Register: http://www.meetup.com/BayAreaMastermind/events/74068892/
Cost:  No Charge for Open House but a monthly charge will apply if you want to join a regular group

We launched two new Mastermind groups about six months ago in response to several requests from entrepreneurs who wanted to form an advisory board of peers with a deeper understanding of each other’s businesses and shared accountability. One group meets two  Saturday mornings a month, the other meets two Wednesday afternoons a month 4-6pm.

Come to the open house and see if you feel comfortable with the other folks that attend

The difference between these mastermind meetings and a Bootstrapper Breakfast meeting is that anyone is welcome to drop in to a breakfast when they feel like it.  Mastermind groups are the same entrepreneurs meeting twice a month to compare notes and hold each other accountable for goals and commitments. Over time these entrepreneurs  will get to know each other better than the average breakfast attendee.

There is no charge for this open house but if you decide to join a facilitated small group there is a small monthly subscription.

Slides and Audio From “Leading Teams of Experts” at PMI-SV Sep-17-12

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Audio, Events

Forming And Leading Teams of Experts

More presentations from Sean Murphy

Or download directly from “Forming and Leading a Team of Experts [PMI-SV Sep-17-2012] (MP3)

It was a great audience and a lively discussion around the issues that the talk explored.

See You at Lean Startup Conference 2012

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

Here’s why I am excited about attending the Lean Startup Conference on Dec-3-2012 and offering a workshop there with Scott Sambucci on “Engineering Your Sales Process” on the day after.

Q: What aspect of lean startup methods most inspires you?

Lean Startup methods recognize that new markets in particular require a scientific approach that relies on thoughtful experimentation and iteration–what we used to call “trial and error”–to determine what will work and what won’t. It takes an engineering approach to defining the “known unknowns” about your customer, your product, and your business model but still respects the value of entrepreneurial vision and insight in crafting new hypotheses. It reminds every entrepreneur that they need to get out their Bat Cave and go and see the ground truth of their customer’s needs and market expectations.

Q: What makes it hard for companies to implement this process?

It requires opinions that are held strongly enough to act on but lightly enough that you are willing to revise them in the face of new facts and new learning. This is a hard balance for individuals to manage much less managers and executives who are expected to have the right answers. It can be very empowering for a manager or a leader to mark off the limits of what they know and ask the team for help in learning more. This behavior can violate expectations of employees, investors, and peers for the amount of self-confidence and passion that entrepreneurs and executives should exhibit.

Q: What will people take away from your “Engineering Your Sales Process” workshop?

The “Engineering Your Sales Process” workshop will teach them how to diagnose and handle common B2B sales problems. Attendees will leave with a scientific approach to understanding their customers’ needs and their buying process so that they can scale their business with a repeatable sales process. Attendees will take part in written and interactive exercises that will complement the lecture portions of the workshop and allow them to focus on sales situations that they are facing their own startups.

You can register for the Dec 3 2012 conference at http://leanstartupconf2012.eventbrite.com/, the workshop is one of several offered on Dec-4-2012 at the Intercontinental.  To participate in the workshops, you will need to buy a Gold or Platinum Pass.

The Lean Startup Conference is the re-tooled and expanded version of the Startup Lessons Learned Conference, see these blog posts for roundups from 2010 and 2011

Forming and Leading Teams of Experts at PMI-SV Sep-17

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events

We do a lot of work with experts in a variety of fields including law, medicine, proteomics, genomics, electronic design, 3D printing and additive manufacturing, text analytics, process mining, subsurface modeling of oil and gas deposits, parallel and  heterogeneous computing, thermal engineering, design automation, and knowledge worker collaboration. This has led us to develop approaches for assessing experts, helping experts to reduce their insights to consulting and software offerings,  and fostering collaboration among experts in different disciplines.

I will be speaking at the PMI-SV dinner meeting on Monday September 17 on “Forming and Leading Teams of Experts.” This talk is a re-worked and improved version of my earlier “The Limits of I’ll Know it When I See It” and is aimed more directly at the challenges of identifying expertise and techniques for blending expertise on a team.

When: 17 September 2012 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Michaels at Shoreline, 2960 No. Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043-1357
Cost: $30 PMI members, $35 non-members (walk in rate)

Update Sep-18-2012: Slides and Audio from talk now available

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