Marketing, startups and the importance of achieving a lot with a little (for startups) « The Equity Kicker. Over the weekend I was talking with an early stage VC about how much traction he likes to see in a company before he invests (answer: enough to have some confidence that the product works, the go to market works and there is some demand).
Subsequently I was thinking through how companies would get themselves to that stage without needing the sort of funding he provides. There are a number of answers of course, including true seed stage friends and family and angel funding, but the most important answer to to find a way to achieve a lot with a little. This morning I have been reading through Fred Wilson’s three recent posts on marketing and the responses from Alan Patrick and randfish of seoMOZ which discuss the pitfalls, benefits and likely trends in marketing spending at startups and I have been thinking back to my conversation of the weekend.
To be achieving a lot with a little doesn’t necessarily mean no marketing spend, but marketing is unlikely to be a big line item. Milestones to Startup Success. Update added to end of post When your startup accepts outside money (such as venture capital), you are obligated to focus on maximizing long-term shareholder value.
For most startups this is directly based on your ability to grow (customers, revenue and eventually profit). Most entrepreneurs understand the importance of growth; the common mistake is trying to force growth prematurely. This is frustrating, expensive and unsustainable – killing many startups with otherwise strong potential. Most successful entrepreneurs have a good balance of execution intuition and luck. Several startups later I have a much better understanding of the key milestones needed for a startup to reach its full growth potential. Day 1: Validate Need for Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Before any coding begins it is important to validate that the problem/need you are trying to solve actually exists, is worth solving, and the proposed minimum feature set solves it.
Where’s the Love? Metrics Start Charging Driving Growth. The 5 Minute Guide To Cheap Startup Advertising. The following is a guest post by Rob Walling.
Rob Walling has been an entrepreneur for most of his life and is author of the book Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup. He also authors the top 20 startup blog Software By Rob, that's read by tens of thousands of startup entrepreneurs every month and he owns the leading ASP.NET invoicing software on the market in addition to a handful of profitable web properties. Imagine that you've just completed version 1 of your product and you're preparing for launch. You’ve greased the wheels with a few bloggers, targeted some keywords with SEO, created a bit of linkbait, and scheduled the press release to launch in the morning. At this point your co-founder turns to you and says: “What are we going to do with the $300 we have stashed away for advertising?” The half-life of advertising traffic is zero. Strategy #1: Try to Get Permission Seriously consider offering something in exchange for a visitor's email address.