At a Flashpoint event several weeks ago one of the startups was giving their pitch. After the pitch was done there was two minutes for questions. Not quite understanding what they did I asked a simple question: is your product like candy, vitamins, or pain-killers for your market?
After a long pause with no response, I volunteered a quick definition of each:
- Candy – a nice-to-have that people enjoy and can be wildly successful if it becomes a fad (like Beanie Babies)
- Vitamins – used to help augment and improve things but sometimes harder to quantify
- Pain-killers – critical problems that need to be alleviated
Startups need to think through this question early on and incorporate thoughts around it in their strategy and marketing.
What else? What do you think of the candy, vitamins, or pain-killers analogy for startups? Read Stephen Flemming’s post on painkillers from four years ago.