What to Expect at a Bootstrappers Breakfast

A Bootstrappers Breakfast is “counter-cultural” to the VC ecosystem focus at many events for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Here are seven ways that we take a very different approach to facilitating events for entrepreneurs compared to most others in Silicon Valley. […]

Suhail Doshi: Avoid These Seven Temptations as a First Time Founder

Suhail Doshi, founder of Mixpanel, shared a candid assessment of mistakes he made in the first 18 months of the six startups he has founded in “The first 18 months of starting a company: it’s life or death.” Here are 7 key pieces of advice that highlight mistakes first founders [...]

Q: How Do I Make Sure I Understand The Customer’s Problem and Present a Vision of a Solution?

Customer development–discovery driven sales–requires that you first understand the customer’s problem then present a vision of a solution. If that is acceptable you can proceed to a demonstration that provides technical proof of value. […]

How Do I Move From Being Capable to Offering Expert Consulting?

Offering expert consulting means developing a specialization and focus that enable you to execute with distinction. The phrases “finding the niche for your product” and “product market fit” are essentially equivalent. A key definition of a market is that members reference each other’s buy decisions and therefore building up a [...]

Constructive Pessimism

Constructive Pessimism: to anticipate problems you have to be willing to acknowledge their possibility and look for them. Many entrepreneurs who are naturally optimistic make a serious mistake in discouraging pessimistic thinking instead of putting it to good use. The clever utilization of constructive pessimism is one of the keys [...]

Getting More Customers Workshop April 23, 2016

We are offering our “Getting More Customers” workshop 9:00am-1:30pm on Sat-Apr-23-16. Spend a morning working on your business with a mix of lecture, discussion with peer entrepreneurs, and reflection and writing. You will leave with a plan for getting the phone to ring and your inbox to fill with inquiries. [...]

Rock Paper Scissors

Technology markets look like a game of rock paper scissors. Startups have to find an effective counter to a competitor’s offering not just a slightly better version. Their pebble cannot beat the incumbent’s rock, they have to use paper (and scissors is a really bad idea).  […]

By | 2018-07-17T22:39:23+00:00 January 15th, 2016|4 Finding your Niche, skmurphy|3 Comments

A Serious Conversation Can Change Your Life

Theodore Zeldin gave a series of six lectures on conversation that were collected in slim book called “Conversation: How Talk Can Change Our Lives.” I found it offered a number of insights on what is needed for a serious conversation. And since serious conversation is one of the primary tools [...]

Your First Dozen Enterprise Customers

My interview with Gabriel Weinberg was originally published Sep-8-2010. He was doing research for what became his fantastic book Traction. We talked for the better part of an hour and a half and I can remember he kept returning in different ways to what was needed to close your first [...]