Strategic marketers always aim to deliver a lion’s share of the online market, but, much like the jungles and grasslands ruled by the lion, the online market is loaded with competitors vying for the same consumer prey. In order to thrive in this kind of environment, strategic marketing must possess a combination of strength, intelligence, and timing.
A lion hunting for survival surely recognizes that it is involved in a zero-sum game with the incredibly high stakes of life and death. While strategic marketers are not subjected to a literal life-or-death scenario, the stakes are indeed so significant that it requires one to adopt the mindset of the king of the jungle.
Why is a Strategic Marketer king of the online jungle?
The strongest lions understand when it is best to take a calculated risk, when to be patient, and when to be aggressive. The same must be true of strategic marketers looking to differentiate their brand from a host of competitors, which is why the most effective strategic marketers are rightly characterized as the kings of the online jungle. In order for strategic marketers to become more effective and efficient as hunters, it is absolutely critical to develop a deep understanding of their figurative prey, the consumer.
Consumer prey: Attacking with respect and knowledge
In his book Born to Run, Christopher McDougall discussed the relationship between the lion and gazelle by writing, “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle -- when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.”
As the lion wakes up each morning to hunt the gazelle, it is not only aware of the task at hand; it is also aware of every one of its past successes and failures. A strategic marketer must also be aware of how important it is, to paraphrase McDougall, to be up and running the moment the sun comes up. Running without a purpose, however, is hardly likely to yield the desired outcome.
In order to engage in purposeful, effective marketing, the strategic marketer must apply the lessons learned from previous experiences while also tirelessly pursuing the attention of consumers. The most effective strategic marketers seek the attention of consumers through strategies that show respect for, and demonstrate an understanding of, the specific consumers within a particular target audience.
Navigating and conquering the online consumer hunting grounds
It is only with a healthy dose of respect and knowledge that a strategic marketer is able to navigate and conquer the online consumer hunting grounds in the same way a lion is able to navigate and conquer the hunting grounds of the jungle and the grasslands. In the world of strategic marketing, the stakes are so high that merely surviving is not quite enough; strategic marketers must adopt a carnivorous mindset that allows them to ascend to the throne of the online jungle.
Reed Gusmus is the director of marketing at QASymphony, where he is responsible for utilizing his exceptional B2B digital marketing expertise to develop marketing plans capable of generating new customer acquisition while also stimulating ample revenue generation.
A series of appalling terrorist attacks. The UK vote to leave the EU. And the ongoing pantomime of American politics. The summer quiet season has been slow arriving this year. That has not stopped a regular supply of reading lists to fill the holiday hours. This list from Y Combinator is but one recent example.
Reading is one of life’s great pleasures. The act of losing oneself in a good book is a joy unto itself. The benefits of broadening the mind and engaging the soul accrue long after the covers have closed. Books can be a great way to learn new skills. Or educate yourself about any number of business topics. But those that live longest in the memory? The works where the writing raises questions and opens the mind to boundless possibilities.
So I offer a small selection of my own choices. It reflects my personal bias. More fact than fiction. A love of Africa. A fascination with the lessons of history. And a total absence of the 'how to' manual or the consultant led business theory. I hope you find something to enjoy.
Breathtaking simplicity. The most beautiful, advanced and complex ideas in science explained in 7 essays. Just 83 pages in total. Reading Rovelli’s book I felt as if the mysteries of space and time were within my grasp. General relativity, quantum mechanics and more. I wish I could describe and clarify any set of ideas in such elegant and concise prose.
And now I cheat. My second choice is two books. Heart of Darkness is the classic novel of the destruction evil wreaks on the mind and soul of man. Francis Ford Coppola adapted the idea for the brilliant movie Apocalypse now. In it he exposes the brutality of the Vietnam war using Conrad’s story and characters as the allegory.
I grew up with the idea of Vietnam as some sort of hell on earth. That example grossly underestimates the depths to which man’s inhumanity can sink. The true arena for Conrad was the Congo under the rule of the Belgian King Leopold. The business of extracting rubber from this vast, intractable jungle was a study in evil. The extreme point of colonialism, slavery and racism. The worst inflicted by Europeans on the African continent. King Leopold’s Ghost is an excoriating work of history. Detailing the circumstances and methods of this crime against humanity.
Read either of these books. They are both brilliant and illuminating in their own right. Strange but each author’s exposition of evil leaves you with an uplifting view of the human spirit.
Of all my selections, this is the book found most on other lists this year. It is as ambitious as Seven Brief Lessons On Physics. Its aim is to cover nothing less than the entire history of the human species. In the case of this book, history means natural history. The author has taken a naturalist’s view of human behaviour and development. The result raises more questions and insights than any book I have read for a long time. How can you not be inspired to think differently by questions like: “Did man domesticate wheat or did the crop tame man?"
At the end, the book feels a little unfinished but I guess the end of this story has not yet been told. I would not read this book for message. But for education and enlightenment it is hard to beat.
We are in the middle of a long period of memorialising the centenary of the First World War. Remembering the sacrifice of those who died at the Somme, Verdun and the rest is a solemn duty. Yet we dishonour those millions of the mouthless dead if we forget the lessons from that traumatic conflict.
Nothing brings those learnings into sharper focus than the peace treaties. The multiple diplomatic documents that brought the Great War to a formal end. It is well known that the seeds of World War 2 were sown in the great hall at Versailles. But do you realise the extent to which the troubles of the Middle East today were designed in the treaties of Sevres and Lausanne?
Make no mistake, this is a work of serious and heavyweight history. It recounts the politics and pressures of the peacemaking process in 1919. And illuminates many of the historic challenges the world has faced since. The author brings the characters of the conference and the important circumstances of the time to life in a brilliant and readable way. If you take the time and trouble, you will see the world in a different way by the end.
Despite the title this book is not really much to do with Africa. The Serengeti in the title is a bit of clickbait to draw the reader in. The purpose of the book is to explain the rules that govern the balance of ecosystems. Whether those be on the African plain or in a rockpool in the Pacific North West.
I have to make a further admission. This is not that well written. The prose is a bit tabloid journalist. The conclusions are drawn through lazy logic. Without proper explanation of the weaknesses in the propositions the author puts forward. Yet it does make you think. Since I read it early this year, I have been mulling over the application of these concepts to the world of business. Not everything works but that’s fine. It passes the test of raising interesting questions so worth a look.
My final choice, although little known outside of South Africa, is a genuine classic in my opinion. Through a series of stories, Rian Malan examines the character of the rainbow nation. He looks at the full spectrum of people and lives that make up the rainbow nation. The rational and explicable is in here. But much more is the unexplained. The way desperate circumstances, twisted traditions and the fragile working of human minds combine to create unexpected results.
Whether savage or tender, the author peers through multiple layers. The most successful war tribe in Africa. Intermingled with a huge nation of peaceful pastoralists. Together replacing an ancient hunter gatherer culture that reaches back to the earliest days of our race. All filtered through the experience of colonialism and apartheid. It is no wonder that the results defy the obvious. It takes a wonderful writer to bring such deep insights to life. And leave the reader wondering and wanting for more.
Whatever you choose to read, listen, learn and keep questioning.
do. Even when you are right. We all know that we need the ability to understand and maybe adopt different points of view. Easy to say but not so simple to execute.
Yet people do it. It is a natural process. This is how teams work when they work well. A group of people with a common goal but different approaches, skills and experience. When it is harnessed it is the most powerful human engine. Any theory of early man will tell you this is how our species survived. Subsistence hunting in teams. Get it wrong of course and conflict and stress are the result.
Team building is a separate subject. The challenge of looking at things from many angles is the subject of Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono.
What is it?
De Bono is famous as a kind of alternative philosopher of business. He uses psychology and human behavioural science to construct ways of tackling business strategies and problems. His work is about how you think rather than what you should do. Perhaps his most famous book, Lateral Thinking is a classic. A unique approach sets him apart from other leading thinkers.
Six Thinking Hats has also become a staple of the corporate library. It is described as a self help book on many lists. But it is the basis of many workshops, brainstorms and strategy sessions. It can stand alone or integrate into a wider learning and development programme. I have even seen it used as an icebreaker to help people get to know each other.
The basic idea is that humans are capable of six different modes of thinking about a question or a problem. By putting on a different hat for each mode we can encourage the full range of perspectives on a question. Each hat is a different colour to distinguish it in our minds and in practical exercises.
Effective use of the hats will give a complete and rounded view of the problem. More important de Bono argues that it will also spark innovation. All six modes of thinking can provide the new angle that illuminates the solution.
Let’s look at the ways a startup might use each of the 6 hats:
Blue, Managing - This is traditional structured, task focused thinking. The standard modus operandi expected in large enterprises. Although not many people behave this way in practice. As a startup, don’t be afraid to adopt this mindset. Your world may feel random but the effort of ordering your thoughts can produce results. It may not be the first thing that strikes you. When you are swamped by data and options though it may be the best.
White, Information - In this mode you deal only in known, hard facts. In a startup these are often few and far between. But it is vital to know what you do know. Confusing what you think with what you know has led to many errors and missteps. Your judgement will improve when you separate fact from assumption. And deduction (or just guesses!). On occasion reducing things to the bare facts will also make the way forward clear as crystal.
Red, Emotions - The exact opposite of Whit. What is your gut reaction? What makes you want to laugh, cry or scream? Bring your passion to solving problems. This is often the default mode for a startup. But it can slip away as the reality of running a business bites. Don’t forget it.
Black, Discernment - Not a great description. The author means risk averse, cautious and conservative thinking. Analyse the threats. Ask what can go wrong, what should you avoid. By convention startups embrace risk. This does not mean you should ignore it. Thinking through the downsides will help cover your bases. And be prepared if the worst happens. Solving a problem in a way which evades or minimises risk may also be the best answer.
Yellow, Optimistic Response - Again the opposite of Black. Keep in mind that things might just be good. Or great. How could things take off? What would life be like in an ideal world? Do you have the resources to cope with explosive growth? If you hit the jackpot, what comes next? This is the thinking a startup can use to inspire the team and the world.
Green, Creativity - The hardest hat to define. Think the unthinkable. Think different. Even if things are going well, could they be better? Turn your product into music. Make your software into a spoon. Whatever. Most startups are rooted in some level of creative, maybe crazy thinking. Like optimism this attitude can disappear early. Beaten down by the challenges of execution and survival. Keep going back to it and opening your mind.
The beauty of the 6 hats is that it is a simple, easy to grasp model for a complex concept. There are lots of ways to use the model Any time you are struggling with a problem. Or trying to develop a plan. Come back to this it may help. It is not an every day habit. Too formal and time consuming. Startups should consider this approach in three main situations:
The Not So Useful Stuff
De Bono has distilled complex thinking and deep ideas into a clear conceptual framework. The Six Hats model is brilliant in its simplicity. Unfortunately he has written a book that wraps it back up in some abstract language. It is not the easiest read but it is worth taking time to understand his model. There are plenty of guides and tools if the whole book is too tough for you. Once you get it in your head, the framework is excellent.
I would add a seventh hat. It would be called “Put Yourself In Your Customer's Shoes” and the colour would be gold. If you can understand how your customer thinks you have achieved the gold standard for a startup. Or for any business.
Of course hat 7 does not fit with the science and logic behind the original book. And your customers could be wearing any or all of the original six hats when they respond to your product. So perhaps number 7 is a summary rather than integral to the model. A startup should aim to find the customer’s perspective in any case.
The fundamental concept of Six Hats is good. It has great value for a startup. Understand that there is no single right way to think about a problem. People approach things from different angles. Different perspectives are the fuel of innovation. They also help catch and avoid mistakes.
Use the 6 hats to approach complex problems. Or to reflect on progress and help make better plans. But don’t forget the seventh hat!
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I first found this book during a course on strategic thinking. Held at a delightful seaside resort in Denmark. One of the sessions included a film of Arie De Geus. De Geus was head of strategy for the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell in the 1970’s. During this time he adopted scenario planning as a standard. He described his experiences during the oil shock of 1974. When the price per barrel quadrupled almost overnight. He was able to pull a plan for a similar scenario off the shelf. And help his CEO respond faster and better to the crisis. It transformed Shell’s standing.
I was stunned. Here was a man who had thought the unthinkable. And planned for it. Remember this is long before Black Swans became a thing. Before PC technology disrupted the world. Amazing. I had to know more. When I returned home I went to a bookstore (yes this is before Amazon as well). And found a slim volume written by the Dutchman.
The Living Company became my favourite business book. It is a classic in my opinion. Although not as well known as some of the works I have written about. And there is a twist. The message goes against one of the big founding myths of the startup world. It is about survival and sustainability. Not growth and fabulous valuations.
What Is The Living Company
During and after his time at Shell De Geus studied some of the world’s largest companies. He started from a unique perspective. The average lifespan of a multinational is just 40 -50 years. Less than a human being. For example between 1970 and 1983, one third of the Fortune 500 ceased to exist. Bust or taken over.
He wrote an article for Harvard Business Review called the Learning Organisation. And then published The Living Company. Both have a single theme. What makes the survivors different?
Long Term Business - Elephants Not Unicorns
The startup world today is like stock markets since the tulip mania of the 1600’s. It exalts the short term. The highest valuation or the most money raised today. Not yesterday and not tomorrow. We have even coined a word to describe these winners. The unicorns.
Yet the role models are Google, Apple and maybe Amazon. These look more like Elephants. Enormous, successful and long lived. Page, Brin, Job and Bezos did not start a business for the short term. They wanted to change the world.
I believe there is far too much attention paid to funding and valuation. We live in a day trading kind of world. Startups are still high risk. Those that survive even for 20 years will build a real business. When the boom ends the companies left standing will not be just those that have raised the most money.
If your aim is to be in that group, you can learn from The Living Company.
4 Lessons To Build Your Own Business
The book is not that long. But it is rich in examples and thought provoking angles. In the end there are 4 core lessons:
Sensitivity. Learn and adapt to the environment. Including markets, regulation and social expectations. Every startup needs to begin this way. You will not get off the ground if you don’t understand the market. Retaining that sensory perception and allowing to determine business strategy is a different matter.
Pivots are a part of sensitivity. Over the longer term a company needs to keep listening. And be ready to undertake a total transformation. The digital revolution is going to find out many established organisations. It will destroy those who are not able to change in response to a new environment.
There are also cautionary tales within tech. Look at the challenges facing Microsoft. It has been slow to react to the growth of mobile and the cloud.
Identity. Great companies are communities with their own culture, personality, rituals and traditions. This emerges. It cannot be set from the top. I have seen great business dying a slow death. Because consultants and CEOs demand strategic change. And declare victory as the house of cards falls around them.
Startups need to understand their own culture. This is a collective thing. It is not just the choice of the founders. But in the early days you can influence it. In ways that will not be possible once you start to scale. At all times you need to nurture and value your identity. Even including the parts that frustrate.
Whatever the size of your business, the one tool you have which can impact identity is hiring and firing. I worked for many leaders during my time in business. the single most successful did not change strategy. Or organisation,. Or goals. He looked at the top 100 people. he fired the 5 who were the worst fit. (note not the worst performing). And hired 5 new people. In less than a year performance improved by 20%.
As a startup, hire people. Check experience and qualifications. And pick those you want as part of the team. Nowhere is this more true than when hiring sales teams.
Tolerance. Long lasting companies work with their stakeholders. Governments, suppliers, customers, shareholders, teams, partners, communities, unions. Everyone and every group. They adapt to the ecology that surrounds them. Remember we are talking multinationals here. Tolerance also requires a decentralised approach. The ecology is different in different countries, markets or communities.
Startups need to empower people to build and sustain relationships. It is great to be data driven. But numbers do not answer every question. Command and control delivers short term results. It does not make a business sticky or sustainable. The eco system is not just something you give back to. It is the life force that sustains you.
This may prove the biggest challenge to today’s tech giants.
Conservative Financing. Tis is definitely not part of today’s startup culture. In reality every entrepreneur needs to take some financial risk. But the long term financial strategy is not to keep multiplying that risk. Over time high financial risk will expose any company. The goal of investment is to get your company from nothing to a stable sustainable base. Becoming self financing is the object. Not reaching for an even higher valuation.
Massive injections of funds to sustain cash and profit negative growth can only last so long. This is a statement of the obvious but it seems forgotten. Memory will return fast when the current investment cycle turns.
Read the book and learn. There is something of value on every single one of its 238 pages.
Start Your Own Business - Become An Impala
There is another lesson from The Living Company. Most founders are not starting the next Google. Or even a short term unicorn. So what. Mobile and digital are changing the way we work and do business forever. We are going to shift from a corporate dominated economy to a more diverse and fragmented structure. The future will be about making a living not just having a job.
The impala is the most common antelope in southern Africa. Around 150,000 in the Kruger National Park alone. Yet each individual is a beautiful, fragile survivor. And the species succeeds in large co-operative herds.
This is the future we need to build. Not just start your own business. Help create large numbers of long term, sustainable businesses. None enormous. Working together to create communities and economies that help everyone live a better life.
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Playing To Win is one of the best selling strategy books of recent years. It is intended as an example and method for large corporations. But it includes lessons about clarity, focus and honesty which apply to any business. Be careful though, Some of the thinking is dangerous for a startup
This column is a new diversion for me. A lot of my small business consulting is about applying knowledge. Over my career I have studied pretty much all the biggest business ideas. And I have applied them for the last 30 years. I use my practical experience of what works every day. But I have not found an effective way to share this in my writing. This is my latest attempt. I am going to make a brief explanation of a well known business idea. And then explain what a startup can learn from this thinking.
What Is Playing To Win?
Playing To Win is an approach to strategy set out in a book of the same name. The book was co-written by A G Lafley, long time CEO of Proctor & Gamble. And a strategy consultant who advised him in that role, Roger Martin.
How Does It Work?
Lafley believes that business strategy is sound in theory but abstract in practice. Playing to Win (PTW) is a systematic attempt to explain how strategy applies in the real world of a global corporation. The book is built around examples from P&G during his first tenure as CEO. (He returned to the company for another stint shortly after the book was published). The case studies support a model with 5 major components:
Each of these elements requires careful planning and forceful execution. The stories in the book focus on how P&G delivered. How they achieved the clarity and consistency to make PTW work in practice. It is tough to have a big workforce pull in the same direction. Making strategy happen in large corporates is a complex challenge. P&G’s results during Lafley’s first time as CEO show a high degree of success.
A startup is different in almost every way from P&G. Yet PTW holds some value even for a company at the opposite end of the business spectrum.
Most important is clarity and focus. The diversions and complexity may be less than in a global enterprise. But many startups try to do too much. The key message of PTW is do some thinking and make some clear decisions. Like all strategy it is as much about what you don’t do as what you do.
The structure also provides a useful way of thinking about business strategy. Set objectives and be clear about your markets. Define the differentiation that will allow you to succeed. A template based on the ideas in this book can be a helpful aide. Writing your plans down in this format will give your business plan added credibility.
I also like the emphasis on honesty. You need to be clear eyed about what is unique in your business. And about the capability you require to build your startup. Be honest with yourself if you expect to appear authentic to your customers.
The How To Win section of the book is strong in this respect. Even the largest consumer products company on earth does not have automatic differentiation. You don't need to articulate unique value from day one. Think about the path to competitive advantage.
PTW frames strategy through some excellent questions. They are a good way into strategy for any business:
“What qualitative evidence can support your winning aspiration?"
“How can you write down the critical assumptions that create your where to play approach?"
“What are the biggest challenges your customers/ potential customers face?"
The Not So Useful Stuff
PTW is like most business strategy books. The examples and illustrations come from established global leaders. These are interesting but hard to translate into a startup culture. Specifics about management roles and job titles for example are far too onerous for an early stage company.
There is also a big problem with some of the language and ideas. As the title implies there is much about beating the competition. I find fighting analogies unhelpful for startups. The startup world is not a zero sum game. The efforts of founders and the benefits of technology add to the economic sum. It is not about winners and losers.
Business is not war. I know that some people find battle cries inspiring. It is a short term fix. Your startup needs to have a positive reason for existing. Even if that reason is just to make people a little happier by showing them pictures of cute cats. “We are better than the competition” is a negative outlook.
Next Steps For Startup Strategy
Not every book on business strategy is worth reading. Playing To Win is an exception. It is short and easy to follow. Stories from A G Lafley are in separate sections so it is easy to focus on these. I will be sharing more tools and ideas from the business world. How can big business ideas help startups and SaaS companies grow and develop? If you want to know more, get in touch or subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates.
Seek global opportunities
He builds his career in the Law. Law was a new profession then. The Tudor version of the Internet. His business connections with the wool industry are strong. In that era, wool was the source of England's economic power. That power arose from trade. Think globally. Build a business with large market potential.
True to people and principles
When the first book opens Cromwell is working for Cardinal Wolsey. Soon after, Wolsey falls from the King’s favour. Cromwell remains loyal. True to both his patron and his principles. Despite the importance of patronage in that time and place, his rise continues. Stick to your guns.
Honesty and clarity
Throughout the stories the character speaks with clarity and honesty. He is a man of few words, chosen with care. The dialogue is often simple. Great issues decided in a short conversations. Keep it simple and be consistent. Use your intelligence and make the most of any meeting.
Perhaps most fascinating are his dealings with his family and household. He treats everyone from his son to the lowest servant with care and consideration. He recognises a duty to nurture and protect. He builds up a group of younger men around him as assistants. Developing and promoting talent is central to his model.
This takes constant care and attention. The author paints a picture by sharing many of her main character's innermost thoughts. He spend his time thinking about his people and the Royal agenda. His people demand attention to the smallest detail. Careful balance of challenge and reward. Approaches tailored to each individual in the team. There is no formal organisation or structure. No job titles. Just give each person a fair challenge and freedom to work.
Focus on the core customer need
It is different with the King. Cromwell devotes his tireless energy around one major issue. How can Henry divorce Catherine of Aragon. Everything else is secondary. He makes sure small things don't get in the way. Organising hunting trips, finding a favourite musician and so on. His thoughts focus on one priority. Henry is Cromwell's customer. Identify a core customer need and focus your efforts.
Leadership is a top start up challenge
Wolf Hall shows us a man with great experience of the real world. He is true to his principles and loyal to his friends. In business he has two priorities. Addressing the needs of his customer and growth and development for his people. He pays close attention to individuals and to detail for his team. But his focus is the big picture for his King.
Growth and investment are the biggest challenges for most startups. Building a successful business also requires leadership. Thomas Cromwell offers a great example. Of course history tells us it all ended badly. Creative destruction still applies!
What are the biggest leadership challenges you face as an entrepreneur? Where are the role models and lessons of experience that will help you?
Specifically, the first and most vital lesson is that asking anyone (including your Mom) what they think of your idea is a guaranteed way to an untruthful and useless response.
Why is this a great book?
The Mom Test goes right to the top of the list for several reasons. It passes the freakonomics test (it is actually much better than Freakonomics by the way). The reasoning may seem counter intuitive but once it is laid out it marries exactly with long experience. The author is able to put into clear and simple words one of those nagging truths that I have learned the hard way but did not understand well enough to be able to articulate.
Those clear and simple words are another great plus. The book is quite short and the language is plain but beautifully expressed. I only found myself reading back over a paragraph a couple of times in the whole 133 pages. In some jargon laden books, I do this three times on every page....and then put the book down before I finish chapter one. The appalling, tendentious best seller Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is the classic of this genre.
How to be really useful
It is highly unusual because every page is useful. Repetition is kept to a minimum and there is no attempt at padding. Contrast this with another best seller Who Moved my Cheese? in which a trite concept that could make a mildly amusing 2 minute coffee break story is spun out into 94 pages of laboured prose.
Even more different, The Mom Test makes no claim to have invented a model which solves the entire business world. Over extending the significance of an interesting couple of case studies is a much more common approach. Dig into In Search of Excellence or Playing to Win to see what I mean.
As a consequence, Rob Fitzpatrick makes no attempt to claim that there is a fixed formula which must be followed in every detail. Nor does he try to say that every reader should adopt the lessons of the book. On the contrary, he says if you don't want to do it, don't bother.
This stuff really matters
Why does this matter? Identifying customer pain and designing a solution is the fundamental premise of any Startup. Many business plans fall into two traps. Sometimes they quote large scale market statistics to demonstrate the sheer size of the potential customer base. You know the sort of thing - Gartner says this market is worth $2 billion per annum and growing at 14%. Neither the Startup nor Gartner have actually defined an addressable market need so this message is essentially worthless. The alternative approach is customer research based on a questionnaire which essentially says to potential buyers “Would you like X really cool product?” Nice but this does not get at the truth of the market either.
The Mom Test looks behind these myths and suggests a way of approaching customers to find out the real truth. The answers may be painful but if you don’t ask these questions your chances of success are much lower. Anyone who needs to identify the real market for a product (which is every Startup and plenty of other businesses too) should read this book and keep it on their shelf.
One small favour. Receiving compliments is a very bad sign according to The Mom Test so please don't tell Rob Fitzpatrick about this blog, he will hate it!
Kenny Fraser is the Director of Sunstone Communication and a personal investor in startups.