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October 19, 2004



It is exactly the kind of note that I would be pleased to read on the "CEO Bloggers Club".
As we said at the last meeting, I'm sure that you have many things to share with others CEOs : this is a perfect example.

Dave Rodger

Amen, brother.

We've all heard people say things like: "Of course we segment the market--our target isn't all customers, it's *customers with money*"--as if that was a segmentation.

I'm convinced that strategic marketing is the single biggest area where startups fail--and I'm not convinced that VCs do a good enough job of focusing on the right marketing talent to get the answer to these questions right.

Obviously, the problem is more common among technical/engineering founders/CEOs, as you nicely summarize in your description of the Enthusiast's Problem, but it just seems too easy to fall into the belief that the whizziest technology must be successful, and the marketing role is all too often cast as the press-releases and hype-generation, at the cost of a real market understanding.

Why is this so hard?

One theory is that the realism/pessimism needed to do a good job of market analysis is at odds with the entrepreneur's necessary optimism/ability to "ignore reality", and in that case, the CEO usually (necessarily) will win out--but that's a very harsh view of the way things work. What are some other thoughts on this?

Marc Goldberg


Good point,

I'll try to summary my thinking on how to find the customer that you want to listen to, and how to ignore the others...
.. in a forthcoming Product Marketing 103 posting

Keep the question coming,

Tks - Marc.

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