New Venture Bootcamp (Part 2) – Ted Zoller

zoller.jpgDay 14, Thursday 6th Feb: Ted Zoller returned for part 2 of his “New Venture Bootcamp” (Part 1). He compared the coming 2 day-seminar, the business knowledge and training he was imparting, to a mini-MBA! MBA or not Ted’s second day with us proved as impressively informative and practical as we had come to expect from him! He presents topics with fantastic clarity and all but eliminates unnecessary jargon that usually only inhibit concept comprehension and adoption.This morning’s seminar focussed on the following 8 topics:
1.) Seeking the value proposition
– Review of
previous seminar & value propositions
– Value = relevant brand benefits/relative competitive price

– VP should take the following basic form:

Our innovation is a: (customer language)
That: (key benefit)
Unlike: (current state/key customers)
Ours: (key differentiators)
For: (beachhead customer)
Who: (key purchase motivation insight)
At a price/value: (relative to competitors)
Value Outcomes/Results: (client deliveries)

e.g.: Scholarpub.com is a proprietary search engine and repository that securely publishes scholarly research both in secure and open environments to network students, scholars, and researchers for the purpose of sharing data, promoting collaboration, and creating new knowledge.

2.) Business model development
– A business model is a conceptual tool that contains a big set of elements and their relationship…expressing the business logic of a specific firm.
– Can you be born global?

3.) Discovering the market
– Identifying customers and addressable markets through research

4.) Segmentation and Beachhead
How do you see your markets? How do you segment it? How are you going to position in the market? How do you see your Beachhead? Marketing comes down to you’re clarity regards:
– What you’re offering
– What its value is
– Who you’re offering it to
Ted also discussed the difference between combining and dividing segments

5.) First mover ‘advantage’
– not necessarily a winning approach
– expensive & risky, but potentially very rewarding
– cons: free-rider effect; technological discontinuities; shifts in consumers’ tastes; incumbent inertia; identification of ideal points
– Late entrants can leapfrog with: superior tech/quality/customer service/brand image
– The logic of success is not to be first to market, but to strive for market leadership by scanning opportunities, building on strengths, and committing resources to customers effectively

6.) Positioning and differentiation
– Identifying firm’s ‘ideal point’ in market and differentiating your offer
– Physical vrs Perceptual positioning

7.) Market plan development
– Segmentation; positioning; 1st mover/late entrant; entry strategy; differentiation
– Always novice tendency to under-budget on marketing
– Budget abundantly to key marketing milestones
– Consider gorilla marketing as apposed to full promotional marketing campaigns e.g. blogging

8.) Crossing the chasm
– See Melissa Schilling’s seminar on technical innovation

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2 comments so far

  1. […] Day 15, Friday 7th Feb: Ted Zoller continued his intensive mini-MBA program with us from yesterday (Part 2). Today’s seminar focused on the most important factor in the validation of a business plan – […]

  2. […] Day 15, Friday 7th Feb: Ted Zoller continued his intensive mini-MBA program with us from yesterday (Part 2). Bare with the excessively long blog on this occasion as I felt it was necessary to do justice to […]


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