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Thomas Otter

Sig,
Indeed, and funny enough if you look to the history of my employer, there is a good deal of that.
R/3 was meant to be an SME product, but the big guys loved it.

I think also you will enjoy this post from Jeff Walker.
http://radiowalker.wordpress.com/2006/07/19/how-to-ruin-a-perfectly-fine-product-with-marketing/
├╝bercool.

sig

Thomas,
ah, excellent example and the post you linked to again argues for what seems almost like a no-brainer!

Thinking about it again, the questions I started off with did all come from (now going into tongue-in-cheek mode so as not to insult people) more like... eh... "finance and marketing oriented" chaps, the less than daily-dirt-on-hands and have-to-live-with-it ones? Ah, now I will surely have offended some, sorry guys! :D

Natalie Ferguson

I think it's important to have a flexible plan that you can update as you realise new things about your product - key markets, major requirements of these markets, new competitors and your market strategy. Business plans int he tech industry have a bad name now because technology changes so quickly, your plan generally doesn't keep up and becomes irrelevant too quickly. We built a product to combat this, allowing for a flexible plan that you can easily track and update. It's called PlanHQ, I'd be keen to hear your feedback :)

sig

Natalie,

nifty product you've got there! Easy to grasp, seems easy to use...

But you got me thinking though, as I am a tad more radical when approaching the ways business could be run.
In essence I would say I depart from the "goal / event" drivenness (and thus plans as such I might suggest) as it often is based on the wrong (my words again of course) needs; me as supplier, my shareholders etc.

I'm more into focus on "increase value of objects" in full cooperation with potential customers and other resources. Value is entirely up to the potential customer of course, my task is to continuously try to increase that (and keep some for myself).

I suspect your question warrants a full post though! :D

daksh

Sig,

Nice post however I've some questions.

From my understandign, typically the 7 steps mentioned above are applicable when you've competitors in the market.

Here you've mentioned "Do not find the market, let the market find you!".

Well, this is only possible when the market is facing a problem or there's a need felt. A startup has to come up with a unique idea to solve the problem. A fresh idea doesn't have any initial competition.

Just a thought why're we considering "Demos" as a part of pull strategy ?.
Giving demos of your product is more of a push, only when the customer feels interested it would become pull.

Also, what if two products are built on the same tech. platform and also fit in the 7 categories. How would you diffentiate then ?

sig

Hi Daksh,

actually when you mention it, the seven points does not really take any competitors into consideration as such. After all the point being not "think you know who the market is" would imply you would not know precisely who your competitor is either.

And competitors are quite an iffy term - some are both partners and competitors (more often than not!), and most often a competitor is defined from the product side and not the use side... hard to pinpoint. Let's say they're always there! :)

"Solve a problem" is another term I disagree with, again much too narrow, and all too often defined based on what products exists already.

Obviously best is to have a product that does not compete, rather makes the legacy products irrelevant... does cars compete with horseshoes? They certainly once made them irrelevant.

So, you might not even solve a direct problem, you might make many problems and "good enough"s become irrelevant and make life easier, more fun and more profitable for the user.

That's where the conversation and history telling comes in - if interesting enough product, including it's "story" - today's market should be cluetrain enough to convert your story into a pull.
And with a seed of a pull you'd better be prepared with demos, built in agility so you can tweak according to where the users find the use and so forth. Thus the demo is neither a pull nor a push, it's simply a mean to feed a beginning pull - or a push if that's your choice.

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