In this series of blog posts, we’re revisiting our Education Seminar Series and bringing you the top three takeaways from each lecture.  

Geared toward early stage ventures, our seminars are a valuable resource for new companies and entrepreneurs looking develop a solid business foundation.


In the second seminar, Dave Thomas talks about getting your business ready for the market by finding where your product fits within it. Here are our top three takeaways.

The number one company killer: lack of market

Investors take technical risks in products all the time.  Most startups don’t fail because of their engineers or innovation. They don’t fail because their technology fails. Over 90% of tech startups fail because they didn’t find a market and customers.  

Understanding the market means switching from an internal focus to an external focus.  Segmenting the market focuses your scarce marketing and development resources to helps you to determine the best ways to target your specific customer.

Have a vision of your whole product

Although your venture may have one core product offering, keep your whole product in mind when developing your marketing strategy. Your whole product represents your brand, your mission, and what you are doing to solve your customer’s problems.

Customers are looking at your whole product, not just the core product.  This means all the other pieces have to be there too.  The whole product – other products, services, and relationships, fulfill the customer’s compelling reason to make a purchasing decision.

Positioning determines your market fit

Positioning is not the features of a product or other things. Your position is your perceived status within the market. With positioning, you are trying to create and build relationships with your customer. This secure communication is a competitive advantage, because you’ll have a greater influence on what your target market thinks, and what they believe in.

Your company’s position also depends on: partners, competition and differentiation, company valuation, service and support, sales cycle, distribution, whole product, and pricing.

Take all of these factors and figure out where you fit in the marketplace.  Consider your positioning when you make key decisions, such as product pricing.  Ask yourself, “How does my positioning resonate with people all the time?”
Watch the full seminar

About the Education Seminar Series

The Education Seminar Series offers a mix of seminars and workshops to tech entrepreneurs. Focused on business education, the series is a valuable resource that teaches the essential building blocks for an early stage venture to move their business forward.

We typically hold our seminars in the Spring. Sign up for our newsletter to be invited to the next educational event.

In the meantime, check out our other startup resources:

If your startup is in need of mentorship, consider joining one of our Venture Acceleration Programs.

About the speaker

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Top three takeaways: Assessing the Opportunity