Well a lot of literature is out there specially from Steve Blank and Eric Ries. What is it and how do you demonstrate it? Is it customer traction? Revenue or YOY growth? At what stage does it make any sense for founders or the founding team? Brad Feld wrote on it way back in 2015 and it still makes a lot of sense.
If you are a startup founder and are driven by the idea of raising funds you are also familiar with ‘NO’s. There are different types of ‘NO’s. Ones laid down on you gently and ones delivered like a punch on your face. Either way, it is never easy. Kathryn Minshew, the founder of The Muse – a job and career advice service got rejected 148 times before she went on to raise $30m.
I started my daily posts on 1st Jan this year with Jeff Bezos letter to shareholders written i. n 2018. Yesterday he wrote his annual letter for 2019, and he attributed Amazon’s success to the above traits (Intuition, curiosity, and the power of wandering) which he says is in the DNA of the company. As usual there are ideas and lessons. Some points may be to counter anti trust moves in the horizon, some to fight popular perceptions of bad pay and work environments. Here are the key takeaways :
A few weeks back Bob Apollo (the founder of Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners, the leading UK-based B2B value-selling consultancy) wrote an insightful article in LinkedIn – about sales methodologies and simple practicality. Sales in a B2B scenario is a value transaction process. For the sales person (vendor) to offer value to the prospect (customer) the core is to figure the real pain (need) and offer an optimal solution. Bob terms this – situational selling and goes on to explain – ‘…It recognises that there is no such thing as a “standard” sales situation and that, therefore, there can be no one universally perfect approach’.
Only 3% startups will make it to their 5th year. Zeifmans put out their top 3 reasons startups struggle. They should know. They look at a lot of startups.
No. 1 is Balancing Capital and Growth Needs. CB Insights found that 30% startups fail because they run out of cash. ( I wrote about that a few posts back ). The key is to understand cash flow, plan ahead and manage your burn rates.
Alexander Osterwalder is the co- developer of the Business Model Canvas and in his recently published interview with Bill Fischer under the aegis of IMG Business School he elaborated on the origin of the Business Model Canvas. He also wrote a piece way back in 2011, in his then blog – Business Model Alchemist, on the 7 questions to assess your Business Model Design which is surprisingly relevant today.
The Go-To-Market Report for Startups 2019 covered a lot of ground with not so surprising information.
It not breakthrough tech, it is breakthrough business models that will create the real winners of tomorrow.
John Elkington, the Founding partner of Volans, a future-focused business working at the intersection of the sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation movements wrote a very interesting piece (watch the video below) in Fast company sometime back and I went back to it to pick up some powerful ideas.
I came across an article in Business Mirror (and HBR) by Steve W Martin a teacher of sales strategy at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business where he outlines 6 major reasons why Salespeople wins or looses sales.
What is it you ask? Well Benjamin Hardy has written a long-read piece on that. He defines the Culture Wall as an intention “to create an environment that continually reminds me one of what I stand for and what I aspire toward……they create a shared vision, set of beliefs, expectations and direction for desired behavior.”