Think Like A Startup

By Mark / November 21, 2011
think like a startup

think like a startupI watched a video last week about Silicon Valley Startups and one thing that struck me was only 10% fail because the technology isn’t good enough. Almost 90% of the failures fail because they they didn’t research the market enough.

What! They go to the trouble of setting up a company, getting investors, creating a service or products and they haven’t realized that there is no market! Unbelievable… or is it?

Hands up who has started a website and without doing proper research and finding out if there is a viable market.. be honest now I know I have…

Ok here is another one… how many people HAVEN’T done a site because they can’t find a market? Bet you are feeling smug now aren’t you, well don’t because as far as I am concerned thats just as bad!

As far as I am concerned doing too much market research is just as bad as not doing enough.

The lines between IM and Startup companies is blurring, good Internet marketers are adopting startup techniques and startups are adopting More IM techniques.

The King of Startups Noah Kagan who has several very successful startups under his belt (Appsumo, Mint etc.), he has one simple Formula called the TAM formula (Total Available Market formula) he simply tries to find $1 million worth of potential customers , he looks at google trends, Facebook, potential competitors and the google keywords tool, if he finds his $1M worth of customers he then validates it and goes with it.

I’ll add a link to an article about building a $1million business in a weekend at the end of the post. He usually starts by looking at best sellers on Amazon, completed sales on eBay etc and uses places like craigslist to get ideas.

How familiar does that sound?

If a multimillionaire can do this in a few hours then why do some of us spend weeks looking for the right niche or set of keywords.

There is an alternative, basic research and then testing. Find enough customers to earn you the income you want from the site then build and test.

This dear reader is what a lot of successful Startups do. They identify their market then they test, test and test again. If it’s good enough for people who have to be accountable to investors then why isn’t it good enough for us?

Seriously when was the last time you tested a landing page or the open rate of various email subject lines? Or even the location of adverts on your sites? I bet 95% will answer Never!

If you listened to the interview I did last week with Rob Stafford you’ll have seen that we both mentioned AppSUMO (One of Noah’s companies) they provide daily special offers on useful tools for startups.

Split Testing software used to cost an arm and a leg now you can do it for free or for a low monthly cost, the same with good quality conversion tracking software there is no excuse not to use it.

If you search around on appsumo there you’ll find that Noah has turned the interview below into a course, with videos and explanations of the steps to take, thats a little more of the blurring of the lines between IM’s and Startups. I am not recommending it but if you like the interview he did and want lots more detail then consider it.

In the past 3 weeks I’ve got copywriting guides, conversion tracking tools and split testing tools all of which allow me to test and improve various parts of my business. These aren’t tools or guides knocked up quickly to just look good and get Joe Marketer a few sales, they are high quality industry strength items.

I am using the same tools that the New York Times, Techcrunch, Reuters, 37 Signals and a whole heap of A list companies use.

In the next few weeks i’ll do a video of how I use some of the tools to create and test highly optimized landing pages,

Until then check out the link to read the  Noah Kagan Interview


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Wow I had no idea that internet and technology entrepreneurs fail simply because they didn’t research their markets enough. That really makes sense to me because there was a special on CNN that showed technology/internet entrepreneurs and their ideas; the whole time I was watching the show I was thinking that their products and ideas were just simply not needed. If I was thinking this then surely other people were too. But this post that you wrote completely makes sense because if there is no market, then ultimately there is no business.
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