Early Market Signals and Later Pivots

At a lunch last week (yes, I believe in never eating alone) the entrepreneur and I were talking about places to eat. He offered up three nearby places for us and mentioned that one place was always empty at lunch time. After I asked why, he said that when they first opened they were dinner…

GPA: Growth Plan Assets

One of the serious challenges with a bootstrapped startup is determining when to expand. There’s a fine balance between having sufficient reserves in the bank and being aggressive with new hires and initiatives. About four years ago, after struggling with this issue for over a year and experimenting with different ideas, I settled on an…

Participating on a Panel Discussion

Last week I participated as a panelist on a Technology Executive Roundtable discussion on mobile apps in the enterprise and this week I participated as a panelist at the Executive Sales & Marketing Association discussion on lead nurturing for revenue growth. Participating on a panel is a great way to meet new people, establish yourself…

Dialogue with Enterprise Software End Users

One of the challenges with product management and certain enterprise software products is creating a dialogue with end users. Often the product purchase and management is driven by the IT department, which also administers the application. Administrators then become the contact points, but don’t use the product in the same way as their end users.…

Pre-Mature Business Optimization

Earlier today I talked to an entrepreneur about his upcoming marketing program. The entrepreneur has been working on a book about his industry that attempts to educate potential clients on certain pitfalls and how the major players in the market don’t always have their clients’ best interests in mind. After talking for 20 minutes about…

The Value of Being a Market Leader

At lunch today I had a good conversation with a serial technology entrepreneur and the topic of market leaders came up. Of course, in the public markets companies like Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) get premium valuations — the question is why. What value is there in being a market leader other than being the biggest? By…

Finding Successful Industries for a Product

It might not seem obvious but many entrepreneurs build a product to scratch their own itch without regard to a specific industry vertical. Of course, doing generic pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google for keywords (e.g. project management) will generate leads from a variety of industries. This works well to start talking to prospects and understanding…