@tlas Insights

Who’s a product guy? Sales? Marketing? Other?

Top ten mistakes

10    Being a wuss about incremental gains and releases (Perfect is the enemy of good)

9   Belief that you’re always going to be the CEO (Noam)

a.     Company stages

8   Taking bad advice (Gary Ritner story)

b.     Have they done it before, are they truly credible

c.     Don’t ask me about your dev plan or choice of platform

d.     Not enough data points (the dangerous rock star successful founder)

e.     Not deep enough, advising beyond their expertise (financial advisor, accountant, attorney)

7  Won’t break-up with your business plan (run the business, move away from the planning stage)

f.      Not Business plan, PPT Deck, Vision

g.     Is sales pipeline, next release, customer objections, customer sat issues

h.     The love affair needs to end

6   Failure to embrace the stair step approach to sales (today’s model needn’t be tomorrow’s)

i.      Findood example with telesales, same with LP  - led to direct sign-ups

j.      MBS sell data first then marketplace

k.     BeDynamic manual data updates and aggregation, slowly automate

5   A 10% improvement won’t displace the market leader (need a radical change like LP or MG)

l.      So many new browsers or social networks

m.   LP – social, SAAS, recognizes how people work

n.     MG – stats

o.     CEC – first innovation in 50 years

p.     Escapia – SAAS allows real-time booking

q.     DMP – SAAS allows constant data updates and data aggregation biz plus collaboration (drug bust)

r.      Findood – first online market maker in market

4   A better business model isn’t and even if it is, it’s not enough. 

s.     Deals that will beat LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Google because they charge the model. 

t.      Deal that would beat eBay because listings were free but they charged the buyer.

u.     The incumbent probably considered your model.  They may have tested it.  They have more resources and better market intelligence and they’ll copy if its better.

v.     Even so, an improved model won’t generally be enough to attract the millions of users you need.

3   Following the herd (web 2.0 – in contrast, Second Ave’s win with a drone, our wins with CEC, Expertcity, RVM.  Big wins are either early in a trend (early dot-com etailers, early social networks) or are just different)

2.     Failure to understand the market

a.     You’re not the market and even if you’re typical, you’re only a data point

b.     Get out and sell, pre-sell, and don’t just talk to your mom.

1  .  Listen, really listen to the critics.  Like the bunny says: It’s not them, it’s you.  Don’t brush them off.