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Weekly Roundup #19, Competitive Analysis, Marketing, SaaS, Customer Loyalty, Product Management, CRM, Nov 15 2013

Startup Management is a manual selection from the hundreds of weekly articles being curated. Previous issues are available here. The content is on the thin side this week, as I’m being much more selective with the curation. We will stick with a weekly curated update, and not do a daily one. For regular updates, please visit the website’s River or Magazine view.


In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, a Zemanta blogger praises the book by the same name. These are: 1) Absence of Trust, 2) Fear of Conflict, 3) Lack of Commitment, 4) Avoidance of Accountability, and 5) Inattention to Results. The book goes through these, including action steps to overcome them. The fictional case study in the book is a tech company.

Competitive Analysis                

Tomasz Tunguz rebutted Steve Blank’s Company Competitive Analysis, in Why The Petal Diagram Isn’t The Best Competition Diagram For Startup’s Pitch. Tomasz says petal diagrams don’t communicate the startup’s unique way of competing in the market”. My opinion is that the form of the diagram doesn’t matter. What’s important is to know: a) how different you are from the competition (or incumbent), b) what position you want to occupy, and c) how you’ll get there.


Brian Balfour has a long post, Adapt Or Be Left Behind – How The Marketing World Is Changing, where he enumerates the several marketing channels and tactics that are currently hot and popular. You probably know most of them, but it’s a good checklist.

SaaS and CRM

Paul Philp of Amity says current CRM practices haven’t caught-up with the SaaS model, in The SaaS Industry Needs a Customer Relationship Revolution. SaaS is a soft offering, therefore requiring a customer cultivation approach across the various “soft” touch points.

Customer Loyalty

Want Happy Customers? Implement the 5-Visits-Plus-2-Badges Rule. For Your Customer Success Team — And You, says Jason Lemkin. The “5” stands for “Meet On-Site with 5 Customers a Month, Every Month, or 60x a Year”. Why? Because “you’ll learn which customers are actively using your product — but are unhappy and at risk. Attitudinal Customers are worth about 3x those who only use you because they are stuck with you.”

Product Management

In The Startup Method: A 6-step Process for New Feature Development, Ryan Glascow compares the “scientific method” to the “startup method” for new product and features development. It’s a good read, let alone for the comparison table that will give you a better appreciation for the agile, iterative methods that startups adopt. That SUMs it up! Don’t forget to share on Twitter,  add us to your Feedly, forward to a friend, follow on Twitter, read in Flipboard, or just visit the website often and daily. William Mougayar Founder & Chief Curator Startup Management]]>

Entrepreneurship, Sales, SaaS, Marketing, Failing, Mobile, Scaling, Growth Hacking,- Weekend Roundup #18 Nov 11 2013

Startup Management is a manual selection from the hundreds of weekly articles being curated. Previous issues are available here. There are 21 article links in this edition. Entrepreneurs and Blogging    Prompted by Keith Rabois on Twitter, there was a discussion on whether successful entrepreneurs have time to blog. Chris Yeh asked Should entrepreneurs blog? Mark Birch chimed in with Successful Entrepreneurs Do Not Blog? And I wrote a post entitled All Entrepreneurs Should Blog. The consensus is still debatable, but at the end of the day, it is up to the entrepreneur to blog or not. Blogging is not related to their success or failure, rather to their willingness and ability to communicate by writing, and seeing the marketing and social capital value behind blogging. Mobile ROI Ameet Ranadive from the product management team at Twitter has an insightful post, Why Mobile ROI is So Hard. It covers mobile monetization, with a focus on m-commerce, perhaps a hint on upcoming Twitter products in mobile commerce. “28% of mobile searches result in a conversion (defined by store visit, call, or purchase).” SaaS David Skok has a mega post, Manage Customer Success to Reduce Churn. The key point is that focusing on customer happiness is not enough. You need to make sure they are receiving the promised benefits. “Customers bought your product to get a clear business benefit. To make them happy, I believe that you need to make sure they are getting the business benefits they hoped for.” Sales Jason Lemkin has another one of his practical advice posts, If Your VP Sales Isn’t Going to Work Out – You’ll Know in 30 Days. He lays out 5 top things they should do, and the order of priority for doing them. Here’s one of the red flags: “if they start creating and driving deals themselves,” they should be out in 30 days, because they didn’t focus on recruiting a team instead. Bob Marsh asks and answers, What Has Changed in Sales? The Sales Manager. And here is a third post on sales, The Trend that is Changing Sales, where Steve W. Martin points to the increased nature of inside sales. Marketing Communications In Deconstructing PR: Advice From a Former VentureBeat Writer, Conrad Eyusa outlines a step by step approach for working the media. I know it works, because I have used a similar approach successfully several times. VC-Entrepreneur Relationship Fred Wilson and Matt Blumberg have another set of related posts on this important topic. In What Makes For The Most Productive Management-VC Relationship, Fred advises to “keep the frustration to yourself,” when dealing with startups. And in Getting the Most of Your Investors, Matt says to “take on-boarding seriously,” when it comes to new board members. Failing Last week, the Everpix shut down was publicized, and lessons were being drawn. Here’s a pair of posts that explain why the company wasn’t able to raise more money to continue operating, although they had a great product. Andrew Chen weighed in with When a great product hits the funding crunch, and Casey Newton at The Verge wrote Out of the picture: why the world’s best photo startup is going out of business. And related to this, here’s a post by Hutch Carpenter covering 10 examples of fabulously flawed product-first thinking. Marketing James Heaton has a short post, What is Marketing Strategy? that builds the case for marketing and helps you to differentiate between marketing strategy and tactics. “Why does marketing strategy matter? Because it saves you money.” Scaling In Built to Scale: Why Growth Entrepreneurs Need Structure, Dino Signore highlights this important topic. “Structure is like a well-written software code that enables your organization to reduce errors and run consistently.” Growth Hacking If you missed the third Growth Hackers Conference put on by Gagan Biyani and Erin Turner, here’s a pair of posts recapping the key points from it: Growth Hackers Conference 2013 A Detailed Bullet-Point Summary, and Growth Hackers Conference Recap and Slides. Competitive Analysis                  Steve Blank has a new way to depict a Company Competitive Analysis, using a “petal diagram” instead of the classical 2×2 matrix. By putting the startup at the center and linking it to the various market segments, this new visualization helps to get VCs excited about the opportunity to re-segment existing markets or create new ones. Entrepreneurship Fred Wilson posted a recent video interview of his partner Albert Wenger with me, where Albert covered the USV thesis, working with entrepreneurs, Tumblr, Foursquare, venture capital, and many other topics. SEO If you’d like to see the top 200 Google ranking factors in a wicked Infographic, here is a view on Every ingredient that contributes to search engine ranking. There is a method behind the Google search madness. That SUMs it up! Don’t forget to share on Twitter,  add us to your Feedly, forward to a friend, follow on Twitterread in Flipboard, or just visit the website often and daily. William Mougayar Founder & Chief Curator Startup Management]]>

Y Combinator, Advocate Marketing, Product/Market Fit, Gamification, Customer Retention, Metrics, Boards, SEO, Product Mgt, Roundup#15 Oct 20 2013

Startup Management is a manual selection from the hundreds of weekly articles being curated. Previous issues are available here. There are 24 article links in this edition.

Y Combinator Startup School

Here’s the Google Docs with lectures notes from the seminal Y Combinator’s Startup School event that just happened on Oct 19 2013,

Pricing, SaaS, Venture Capital, Biz Dev, Product Management, Sales, Marketing, Growth Hacking, and more, Weekend Roundup Must Read Sept 7 2013

Startup Management is a manual selection from the hundreds of weekly articles being curated. Previous issues are available here. There are 21 links in this edition, and please feel free to FORWARD to a friend, so they can sign-up and benefit too. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Product Management One of the factors in startup failure is when the product roadmap drifts away from the core value proposition. In Introducing Product/Value Alignment: What Comes After Product/Market Fit, I go over the steps to define a strong value proposition so you can align it with your product roadmap to facilitate the realization of your business model. And Gojko Adzic explains how to avoid a common mistake product teams make when they confuse themselves with their customers, in How we solved our #1 product management problem.

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