Why I Look for Obsessive and Competitive Founders

Both Sides of the Table

He wants to compete to be the lead drummer in the competitive ensemble and study under Terence, an obsessive instructor who is hell bent on winning competitions for the school. But the film has my brain buzzing all week about obsessive and competitive people. Obsession.

Your Product Needs to be 10x Better than the Competition to Win. Here’s Why:

Both Sides of the Table

He wanted to build direct customer relationships to get product feedback but only 2% of customers would ever return their registration cards. So when he saw the browser it instantly dawned on him that this would be the greatest customer development tool ever.

Meet Our Startup of the Year Competition Semifinalists: Mobile Therapy


From apps to hardware, to KickStarter successes and international startups, we’re inching closer to finding out who will take home the title of Startup of the Year competition at our annual Celebrate Conference in October. Among the dozens of participants that applied for the online competitions, only a few progressed into the semifinals. Co: What was the road like leading up to your initial pitch for the competition?

Startup Pricing: Are You Selling A Giffen Product?


A recurring entrepreneurial challenge is to determine the optimal price of a new product, especially absent a directly competitive alternative. When we launched GoToAssist, we offered our customers the option to brand the customer-facing webpages with their logo and brand colors.

Be careful how you define your competition.


Professional investors laugh when they hear an entrepreneur state, “We have no competition.” Doing nothing is the main competitor for most products and services, whether a compelling new idea or a seasoned product long proven to be effective. It could be that a larger competitor has met with its customers, promising to extend its product line into this very niche. That statement has killed more investment deals than almost any other.

Moving Analytics | Sitting Kills, Moving Heals

Tech Zulu Event

While we have become more productive as a society, with the advent of computers aiding our work, physical inactivity has become a high risk factor in contributing to chronic illnesses. How is Movn different than your competition? We also set up a competition between the two centers.

Decoding The Secret To Success In Subscription Businesses: Georg Richter, OceanX


What's the secret to creating a profitable, successful, physical subscription based business--and to do that at the scale of large, consumer product goods (CPGs) companies? I have a long history in physical subscriptions, and spent three decades working on only physical, recurring revenue companies, and have always been involved with some kind of physical products. For people who send things out, it's a chance to be in front of your customer.

Is Your Organization Ready to Become an Ecosystem Driver?


However, there is still room for competition. Companies must learn to become ecosystem drivers – even if only for a subset of their customers – in order to survive. A distinguishing feature of this model is that they are the destination in their space for a subset of their customers.

Helping Consumers Name Their Own Price For Products, With Greentoe


To bring that ability to name your own price on products, Los Angeles-based Greentoe (www.greentoe.com) recently launched, allowing consumers to name their own price to retailers of everything from electronics to baby products. However, rather than travel services, it''s for products.

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Build a Product-Driven Company

Frank Addante

If you want to manage a hyper-growth company, start with a great product. The best product wins. With a great product comes great customers, and with customers comes revenue and profit, which in turn can be used to build more great products.

When Your Startup Business Plan Needs to Be Revised

Tech Zulu Event

Maybe a major company with deep pockets has embarked on a product line extension and is set to launch a product in direct competition with yours, or maybe, as with online gaming a few years back, the government decided to ban or sharply restrict your industry’s activities.

5 Tips to Becoming a More Customer Centric Organization

Both Sides of the Table

As organizations we have become more open and I believe this is great for businesses and their customers. We spent time out in the marketplace talking with customers, looking at their solutions, comparing ourselves with our competition and then squirreling ourselves away in our offices designing our next set of features. They communicated this to product management who looked at all of the internal requirements we had generated (e.g. Turn Your Organization Inside Out.

Could Lack of Apple Innovation Cause an Exodus?

Tech Zulu Event

That said; I absolutely do not agree with the mantras “Apple should die in a fire” or “Apple customers are inferior” The days of Apple bashing to the point of near religious-fundamental aggression are far dead to me and thankfully so.

What To Do When Your Competitor Gets Funded?

Both Sides of the Table

But the bigger truth is the competition is important. market share today and are stuck with high real-estate costs, shitty customer service, bad value propositions and no ability to respond to competition because they have effectively become real-estate holding companies that store stuff for cashflow. Healthy competition keeps you on your toes. Competition creates a market with choice and improves consumer awareness, investor awareness and journalist awareness.

Custom Software

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 -- Custom Software. Today, companies need every edge they can get to strive in our current competitive marketplace. For many companies, custom software provides the edge they need. Improved productivity and efficiency leading to cost reductions, easier to use services leading to increased customer satisfaction and retention, a new needed product or service that is not available anywhere else.

Find your “teacher customer.”


Your customers know what they want more than you do. This week’s insight came from personal experience and from a good friend who advanced the notion of the “teacher-customer” years ago. The customer would be the first to receive the new functionality in a new release.

Top 57 Online Startups Meets Technology Meets Product Posts for November 2010


I continue to collect great content that is the intersection of startups, products, online and technology. So let’s be very specific: let’s assume your dream job is product manager at Google, working on the Analytics product. How to Enchant Your Customer - How to Change the World , November 23, 2010 I love to do business with small businesses—in-store, online, for myself, for others, for pleasure, for work—it doesn’t matter to me.

Smartphone Battle Heats Up with Samsung Bashing Apple

Tech Zulu Event

It’s no mystery that smartphone competition is higher than ever, especially with the holiday season creeping up on consumers all over the nation. Advertising & PR Featured Mobile Retail & Consumers Social News Video Apple Galaxy PR product Samsung Smartphone

Non-millennial Bootstrapping – These 50-Something Entrepreneurs Rejected VC $ And Nailed It


Without taking a dime of outside capital, the company has achieved impressive success in a competitive, SaaS market segment, landing companies such as Nike, Intuit, NASA, AutoDesk and PBS. I have always worked on early stage products. And the customer should do most of the talking.

OpenX Launches New Product


Los Angeles-based online advertising technology developer OpenX Technologies said this morning that it has launched a new product, the OpenX SSP (Supply Side Platform). According to OpenX, the new product combines real-time-bidding (RTB) and ad network demand into a single auction system, which can help publishers maximize their advertising yield and increasing competition for their inventory.

Can You Build Your Business on Somebody Else’s Platform?

Both Sides of the Table

We plan to work with Twitter to migrate these companies to work directly with Gnip (Twitter’s in-house data supplier) and for those that want value-added processing on top we plan to ingest Gnip data for our customers who request this.

Why Startups Need a Well Articulated Strategy (And How to Think About Yours)

Both Sides of the Table

You need to first create a compelling product. Compelling in the sense that you solve a real problem a target group of potential customers has with a product that is significantly better than the alternatives on that market. You need product / market fit.

Real Startups Never, Ever Discount Their Prices


However, habitual discounting at a startup is self-defeating, as it reinforces your customers'' proclivity to delay their purchases, patiently waiting for you to reduce your prices. This strategy obviously is most effective when distribution of your product entails low variable costs.

5 Financial Strategies that will always beat your Competition

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 -- TechAmerica Century City Greater LA Finance Network Group Presents: 5 Financial Strategies that will always beat your Competition. 5 5 Financial Strategies that will always beat your competition: 1. Invest in CPI 3.Improved productivity results 4. Have provable and quantifiable customer benefits 5. Be where your customers are and optimize their experience.

Helping Startups Understand Salespeople & the Sales Culture

Both Sides of the Table

Most technology startups seem to be funded by product people or business people. Whenever I heard why we didn’t feel a sales process at an important customer was going well (or if we lost) I would get involved myself. Sales people often blame the product.

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Orange County Product Managers

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 -- "Profitability by Customer Experience: Lessons about Different and Better from the Best" Dr. Joely Gardner, Jeofrey Bean and Sean Van Tyne will make their OCPM debut this month at JT Schmid's in Tustin. Join us in this engaging panel-led discussion about the companies, people and products that have made themselves different, better and more profitable than their competition.

New Cybersecurity Alliance Continues Trend of Industry Collaboration


There have been a series of tie-ups, as security-tech companies try to boost their businesses and amplify their products via acquisitions. Cyber industry alliances, the thinking goes, could make customers’ cyber defenses stronger and easier to manage.

Managing Your Product/Service Lifecycle

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 -- Managing Your Product/Service Lifecycle. Your product is just about to go out the door. But how do you ensure that your product or service is what the customer really wants, needs and will pay for? How do you plan a roadmap to stay ahead of the competition while evaluating the myriad of new opportunities? Access OC. Youre reviewing your launch plan and task assignments.

MakeSpace Raises an Additional $17.5 million and Unveils Strategy to Make Public Storage the Next Blockbuster Video

Both Sides of the Table

They are the classic case of the Innovator’s Dilemma because they fundamentally can’t innovate on their product and can’t lower costs or their business craters. And it’s easy to run circles around them as our product differentiation shows.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Be Respected More Than Loved

Both Sides of the Table

But if you level up , raise capital and grow customers, revenue and staff – life changes. Eventually you need a VP of Product to handle your product roadmap, a CTO for engineering leadership and VPs of sales, marketing & biz dev. If you hire truly talented people you end up definitionally with a lot of competitive peers who will inevitably jockey for resources and control. Extremely talented people are ultra competitive.

What Happens When Startups Turn from Their Innovation Stage to Operational Excellence?

Both Sides of the Table

An alternate outcome that I also unfortunately observe in some cases are companies who had extreme early success with an initial product adoption but failed in key areas that limited the growth and therefore the ultimate financial outcomes. How profitable is my product or service?

Here’s What President of textPlus @Nanea Reeves Has to Say on Leadership, Mgmt, Women in Tech

Both Sides of the Table

Nanea help leadership roles at EA (SVP, COO Global Online), Gaikai (Chief Product Officer, Chief Strategy Officer), JAMDAT (SVP), Machinma (COO) and currently textPlus (President & COO – including leading engineering and product).

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How to Decrease the Odds That Your Startup Fails

Both Sides of the Table

So when Sam Rosen came to me with the idea of disrupting storage with a product that is priced cheaper than existing incumbents and he could build a product that is a better service I was intrigued. Many startups in stead launch “cool” products that their friends and peers love initially but don’t yield large amounts of revenue or profits and certainly can’t support the costs structure. What price will your customer ultimately accept?