Here’s how NOT to define your competition


An entrepreneur pitches using a deck with no slide for competition. We have no competition.”. Email readers, continue here…] 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.

Can you defend your pricing niche against your competition?


There can be nothing more important in your business planning that selecting the proper pricing niche, making your story clear using that niche, and the defending your position against the competition. There are exceptions, based upon cost of sales. What competition would you face?

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. Specifically what is often not in the DNA of founders are sales skills. The result is a lack of knowledge of the process and of sales people themselves. Sales people: Are motivated by cash.

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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.

Improving Sales: The Excuse Departement is Closed

Both Sides of the Table

Most technology startups seem to be funded by product people or business people. Specifically what is often not in the DNA of founders are sales skills. The result is a lack of knowledge of the process and of sales people themselves. Sales people: Are motivated by cash.

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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?

The Best Entrepreneurs Are Hyper Competitive & Hate Losing

Both Sides of the Table

Mark Zuckerberg seems to be me to be one of the most talented young technology professionals of his generation and seems to have an amazing vision for technology and product. Competitiveness - One attribute that I believe most VCs look for in entrepreneurs is competitiveness.

Should I license my IP, sell a royalty stream, or just produce products?


These are your candidates, because they are companies already absorbing much or all the marketing expense necessary to make sales of your invention. If a continuing fee, the license could be based upon units of the product incorporating your IP.

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Using Technology to Realize a Competitive Advantage

Tech Zulu Event

Computers and the Internet have now brought in a new era that relies on data to make profitable business decisions in the competitive environment. Below is a full explanation of how small businesses can leverage technology to earn a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

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 ( 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.

Scaling Sales: Arming & Aiming – A’s, B’s & C’s

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing Sales & Marketing Series. In the first part of this post I talked about how sales in a startup is often evangelical , requires as consultative sale and needs constant adjustments based on customer feedback.

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Scaling Sales: Arming & Aiming – Objection Handling

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of a series on sales & marketing. I previously covered how early phase sales teams should be “evangelical&# and consultative in nature. Some objections are real and they end up becoming changes to your product, your service plan or your pricing / bundling.

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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. Even sales reps will invoke a cost plus logic when negotiating with me on behalf of their customers.

Why Taking Some Risks in the Sales Process Can Improve Results

Both Sides of the Table

Many people are too cautious in sales processes and as a result when they present their solutions they end up sounding milquetoast and undifferentiated from anybody else in the market. In this post I advocate taking a harder stand on where your product or solution differentiates in the market – even if it means you lose some deals as a result. I recently wrote about the three rules of sales. Assume competition and assume within the buying organization you have enemies.

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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.

Why buy IT? Why buy MINE? Why buy NOW?


These are so succinct, so well defined, so precise that everyone in sales and everyone involved in marketing must be able to answer these three questions without pause, and convincingly. Can you, your sales people and your marketing staff answer this succinctly?

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Some Thoughts about Selling at Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Jeff (also an HBS alum) co-teaches the LTV course with Professor Eisenmann about a student of theirs who had written a blog post about sales taking on some of my previous assertions. My list of excuses includes: product, pricing, competition and lack of sales support.

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CROWDIMPACT LA Dangles $20K Prize For Social Enterprise Startups


Crowdfunder , the Los Angeles startup led by CHance Barnett, has launched another crowdfunding event aimed at the local industry, saying Wednesday that it has launched CROWDIMPACT LA , a pitching competition which will award $20,000 in a top prize to a winning social enterprise company. The event is similar to CROWDSTART LA, a pitching competition the company launched last year. crowdimpact crowdfunder social enterprise competition funding venture capital crowdfunding

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Five ways to make your company stand out.


Certainly Walmart, Target and others have gotten the attention of their potential customers using price as the primary leader to drive sales. There must be at least several companies out there right now positioning to compete with you.

Here’s Why a Booming Tech Market May Fool You into Thinking You’re Successful

Both Sides of the Table

You’d imagine that companies selling tons of shelfware would quickly meet their deserved fate in the market, yet the spin around a category of software can fool buyers into thinking they “must have this product to compete.” ” Case studies get done with ebullient CEO’s espousing the benefits of said software even though their organization was barely using the product. How frequently they’re using the product? Sales Startup Lessons

Echo Labs Wins “Quick Pitch” Contest with Digital Hybrid Microscope


By popular acclaim, San Diego-based Echo Laboratories founder Eugene Cho claimed top honors, and a $15,000 check, for his two-minute presentation last week in the 10th annual “Quick Pitch” competition, hosted by San Diego’s Tech Coast Angels.

A year in review: productboard’s top 10 posts from 2017


At productboard we aim to bake best practices of product management straight into the interface, so you can improve the way you manage your products right out of the box. In the meantime, we’ll continue publishing thoughts and ideas we’ve learned from great product managers here.

When Should You Allow Exclusivity in Deals?

Both Sides of the Table

No carrier in their right mind wanted to cede control of the software but Apple was willing to offer its products exclusive through one carrier in exchange for not having any carrier software on the device. Sales is all about knowing the key values of your buyer: What are they trying to achieve in working with you, why do they care about your solution and how will it help them economically? Sales Tech Market Analysis

How to make your recurring revenues oil and not glue


In fact, I am involved with one such company whose customer base extends back to the 1980’s when first purchasing their systems, still paying a regular quarterly maintenance fee to a company that services them well, but has no remaining sales staff or R&D functions.

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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. You need to understand what it means when a customer receives a product.

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Cash – is time – is cash.


If it takes eighteen months to get a new product out the door and into the market, and if a product’s gross margin is ten dollars but the corporate overhead is a million a month, it will take the sale of 67,000 more units to break even than if it were to take only six months to market.

Canters restaurant royalty raises $9.5 million for Ordermark, a takeout order management service

TechCrunch LA

The younger Canter upgraded the menu, brought in a point of sale system and renovated the bar. “I was the guy in the restaurant to pitch whenever there was a service or product,” Canter says. Alex Canter knows the restaurant business.

The four “P’s” to help you build a great business


The wrong person in most any job causes everyone below or above that person in the production system that depend upon that person to operate at a reduced rate or quality of output. The second “P” is for productivity. For example: Hire a great sales person then fail to support him or her with a good marketing effort or a properly priced quality product, and that person will be set up to fail, and for reasons you might have fixed.

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Interview with Peter Diamandis, the X Prize Foundation, On The 100MPG Auto


Yesterday, the X Prize Foundation ( announced the finalists in the Progressive Automotive X Prize , a $10M competition geared at advancing automotive technology and developing 100 MPG automobiles. How has that changed what your goals are on the competition?

6 Tips for Building Relationships with Journalists

Both Sides of the Table

File this under both Startup Adivce and Sales & Marketing Advice. Here’s my thoughts on improving your relationships with journalists and as a by-product improving the coverage that they afford you: 1. Don’t put in the time to getting coverage until your product rocks.

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Avoid the race to zero…


Competitors, seeing a successful development of a niche, flock into the competitive void with products or services built with a fresh view of the current environment. When do you sell your company? Obviously we all want to sell at the top. And there is the problem.

You name the price; I’ll name the terms.


Satisfy the seller’s need to claim a higher sales price victory by moving a substantial part of the price into a future earn–out, or using the target company’s own cash to pay part of the price, or asking the seller to finance a significant piece of the sale.

How to Out Amazon, Amazon

Both Sides of the Table

There has always been tension between CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies and the retailers who sell their products to consumers. This is true whether it’s physical products or media products. Many of us learned about substitute products in undergrad economics courses.

Frank Addantes FounderBlog: 3. Virtual Location, Location, Location

Frank Addante

Under Process, Over Deliver So, you need to develop a product? ► 2006 (20) ► December (2) Just Say What it Is 12 Proven Guidelines for Rapid Product Development. In todays highly competitive job marketplace, it is becoming increasingly more difficult.

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Above all, consider the corporate gate keeper.


Looking for an entrance into a VC, an angel group, a bank, a CxO for a sales opportunity, or any other entity? Every sales person with a bit of street history will resonate with this question. Let me reinforce this: never reveal competitive information to gain access or advantage.

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