BizPlan Academy

In-depth lessons on business ideation, pitching, and planning

What is Product Marketing?

What do we do as product marketers?

Product marketers function as CEO’s of their products, product lines, or entire product portfolios. We are responsible for (feel free to steal this for your job description writing):

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Who Do You Need on Your Startup Team

I was having breakfast with Radhika, an ex-grad student of mine who wanted to share her Customer Discovery progress for her consumer hardware startup. She started by sketching her business model canvas on a napkin, but somehow the conversation quickly shifted to what was really on her mind. “After reading your post on Why Founders Should Know How to Code it looks like web/mobile startups have it easy. They seem to know the right mix of skills on their founding team is a hacker, hustler and designer. But what about for us, a consumer hardware hardware company? Trying to figure out what the right set of co-founders isn’t so clear. How do I decide who I need to have on board on day one?  Who can I hire later? And what can I outsource?”

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Drop Your Free Tier

If you’re bootstrapping your SaaS, you should drop your free tier.

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9 Deadliest Start-up Sins

Whether your venture is a new pizza parlor or the hottest new software product, beware: These nine flawed assumptions are toxic.

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Strategy is Not a To Do List

I had breakfast with two of my ex-students from Singapore who were building a really interesting startup. They were deep into Customer Discovery and presented a ton of customer data on the validity of their initial hypothesis – target customers, pricing, stickiness, etc.  I was unprepared for what they said next. “We’re going to do a big launch of our product in three weeks.”  I almost dropped my coffee. “Wait a minute, what about the rest of Customer Development? Aren’t you going to validate your hypotheses by first getting some customers?”

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First Step to Validate Your Business Idea

This is the question that haunts many entrepreneurs and demotivates them from working on their business Idea. The best way to start when you have a business idea in your mind is to think of the problem it is trying to solve.

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No Plan Survives First Contact With Customers - Business Plans Versus Business Models


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VCs Are Not Your Friends, They're Frenemies

Let's Go to Lunch

At Rocket Science our video game company was struggling. Hubris, bad CEO decisions (mine) and a fundamental lack of understanding that we were in a “hits-based” entertainment business not in a Silicon Valley technology company were slowly killing us.

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Mentors, Coaches and Teachers

When the student is ready, the master appears. — Buddhist Proverb

Lots of entrepreneurs believe they want a mentor. When in fact, they’re actually asking for a teacher or a coach. A mentor relationship is a two-way street. To make it work, you have to bring something to the party.

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