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Solution Test

Partner with your customers, usually through a pilot program, to take your solution through a final round of iteration to refine it into the solution customers want. At this point, your customers should be willing to begin paying for the product. You should begin closing paid pilots or be selling your product.

If customers won't pay now, they probably won't pay later. While it's natural to shy away from or defer asking for payment, we're only avoiding the truth and doing ourselves harm.




  • Models - intelligent, well-spoken, credentialed. pays lip service to the process but under the surface believe they already have the answer.
  • Packrats - chases down and tries to satisfy every last customer. unable to fire the customers that distract...

New markets are created by a disruptive technology that serves new customers or an opportunity that was previously unnoticed or underserved. Whether or not it is a new market doesn't necessarily depend on your technology or product, but rather how the technology or product is applied. For example...

The customer buying process is the map of your customers' activities from the moment they find out about your product through the purchase and use to the ultimate disposal of your product.

Detach yourself from your biases, get on the customer's side of the table, look at the problem from their perspective, and make them feel that you truly want to learn how they feel about this problem and potential solutions

In this stage, you cultivate a minimum feature set that you develop iteratively while validating with customers.

The goal of this phase is to clearly define and understand the customer pain and determine whether the customer pain is a market opportunity.

Recognize our weaknesses and blind spots. We tend to try and reuse ideas from other settings that may not be appropriate.  For example, A CEO with a marketing background may see the world through the lens of the "go big" marketing blitz strategy.

  • Get out into the field - Get out of the building, outside the company, outside your circle of friends... validate assumptions like scientists. Don't be attached to your vision.
  • Fail fast and embrace change - Do not waste time pursuing an idea that'...

  • The hero myth - What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? We all hear the same list of qualities: passion, determination and vision. But the same qualities that are heralded as traits of the successful may lead to your startup’s demise.
  • The process...

Established markets are markets where products exist and where you intend to compete by offering a product that serves a niche within the existing market or is a complement to an existing product.

  • Become an "expert-novice": hold knowledge and confidence, but always maintain a seed of doubt and thirst for more knowledge.
  • Reframe your startup's purpose: reframe the purpose of your venture to be learning about what the market wants, rather than proving that your idea works. this ...

Write down a MFS Hypothesis

Sunk cost leads to irrational decision-making. when entrepreneurs stake their hopes and dreams on a startup, the resulting motivation can make it all but impossible for them to learn in an intellectually honest way - overconfidence trap: research shows experienced individuals tend to be overconfi...

  • Your business model is the map of how you create value and deliver it to customers. In this phase, we will conduct financial analysis to verify business viability, launch your product and go-to-market strategy, and then develop a dashboard to monitor your progress forward.

The price your customers are willing to pay is the measure of the degree to which you have nailed the solution.

Look for leverage points within the buying process at which you can influence customers' purchase decisions.

It is the ability to recognize new information and then change the way you view the world. It can help you be more agile and beat out your competitors who are stuck in the old way of doing business.

  • Write down a monetizable pain statement - A monetizable pain represents a pain that customers recognize, have money to pay for, and are overly interested and eager to solve.
  • Write down a big idea hypothesis - An idea for a solution to the pain you ...

If 50% of customers return your call, you have found the monetizable pain and a potential beachhead for your product.

Once you've validated a customer pain, it's time to ask yourself "how big is the pain I'm trying to solve and is it worth it?"

  • Develop an inexpensive, rapid prototype — something your customers can use and give them a picture of the solution you are proposing.
  • Be resourceful — ask suppliers for samples. Find partners. Avoid investment.
  • Prototype Road Show

The goal is to understand the process by which customers find out about and decide to purchase our product and to use our findings to develop a repeatable sales model and optimize our marketing and sales strategy. We should be continuing to explore and validate price points while closing paid pil...

  • Map the key categories of the market infrastructure
  • Identify the top three partnerships in each category
  • Understand the motivations and needs of each player
  • Create measurable and time-bound objectives for each potential partner and a strategy to leverage the infrastru...

Close and launch paid pilot-customer relationships and utilize them to refine the product, go-to-market strategy, and serve as references.

The very process of growing will change your company in fundamental ways that will make what you did in the early days obsolete in the later days.

Many investors and entrepreneurs will admit that most successful companies faced a crisis before they succeeded.

When it comes to the image you create as a startup, once you start selling, go big or stay home within the niche you have targeted. This doesn’t mean you have to burn all your capital, but you do want to communicate that you are established and reliable when you start trying to capture the early ...

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