2x Startup Founder (Flagback & HireVoice)
Recognized Usability & UX Research Expert
2013 Most-Liked SlideShare Presentation Creator
Author of Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want
The Lean B2B Table of Content View Full Content
— Contacting Early Adopters
— Where I’m Coming From
— Finding Problems
— The nature of the B2B World
— Conducting Problem Interviews
— Where It Starts
— Analyzing the Results
— Choosing a Market
— Finding a Solution
— Finding Early Adopters
—Creating a Minimum Viable Product
— Leveraging Domain Credibility
—Preparing Your Pitch
— Conducting Solution Interviews
— Product-Market Fit
— Common Challenges
— Speeding up Product-Market
There are 3 reasons
why businesses buy ...
To increase revenue
To decrease costs
To increase customer
Your passion, domain expertise and
your ability to build products are the
3 things in your control to reduce the
risk of starting up.
You can find great business
ideas right where you work.
That’s what 50% of the Inc. 500
Founders did (Source: Amar Bhidé).
Alcohol and the telephone are
great tools to test your value
You will learn whether your value
prop is shareable and can be
VCs, industry bloggers,
journalists and market
analysts are fast-tracks to
They have an horizontal -
broad - view of the market.
Annual reports can tell you if a
company has an early adopter
What can you
learn from a financial ?
Your story - or the story of
your founding team - can help
get you through the doors of
Britelynx founder, Pete Lalancette, was a military
helicopter pilot for 21 years before starting up.
Wouldn’t you be curious to meet him?
Competitors often tell you who
you should be speaking with.
The early adopters that get the
new iPhones are not the same
people that go and try the new
coffee shop. - Brant Cooper, Lean Author
Being an early adopter is not
a personality type.
Meeting people in their work
environment can sometimes
lead to great insights.
Interviewing IT professionals, Jason Cohen noticed certain
magazines on the desk of his prospects. When his product
was ready, he advertised in that magazine to great success.
Finding where your prospects
gather for pleasure or for work
can significantly increase your
odds of success.
Where do IT executives
go to network?
Proximity to customers is key. Moving
in with them can be a great idea.
Having development teams at client offices,
helps you discover customer pains, context of
use, stakeholders, underlying needs and
In the long run, the people that
seek problems out-perform
the people that seek solutions.
Drs. Jacob Getzels and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
proved this theory by following the career of
professional artists for over 2 decades.
To win, your solution must be
at least 2 times faster, 2 times
better and 2 times cheaper
than the known alternatives.
... though rarely perceived as a
competitor, Excel is almost
always an actual competitor
for software startups.
- Joshua Porter, HubSpot Director of UX
If you can't beat the Excel solution,
your product will never be a success.
Frequency is about the worst way
to pick a problem to address.
Cables have been getting tangled up all over the world for
decades – it’s a very common problem — but very few people
would pay to have that pain removed.
To keep your focus, sometimes
it’s best to turn down paying
You won’t convince large enterprises to sign with
you if all your customers are tech startups.
You can generate revenue and
still fail. If revenue is the first form of
validation in B2B, (user)
engagement is the ultimate form.
93% of products that ultimately
became successful started off in
the wrong direction. “
- Clayton Christensen, Innovation Author
Company pivots are a lot more
common than people would think.
The average age of successful
B2B founders is 40.
Not 19, 25, 28 or 32
(Source: Vivek Wadhwa).
The average number of attempts
needed to make a sale is eight to ten.
If you’re trying to reach C-level
executives it's 12 to 14.
Persistence is key.
Nobody ever got fired for
buying IBM... “
...said the IBM marketing team
The CIA has its own
In-Q-Tel is slowly becoming the stamp
of approval for technologies secure
enough for government agencies.
You should never optimize
before product-market fit.
With time on your side,
everything can be improved.
« Read this book before you schedule even one more meeting
about your startup. » - Jeffrey L. Cohen, Co-Author, The B2B
Social Media Book
« Lean B2B nails the key to being nimble and iterative in the
complex, drawn-out world of B2B entrepreneurship:
relationships. It captures how I've been running my own Lean
B2B practice for years and makes it accessible to anyone. » -
Brian Gladstein, CEO and Founder, Explorics
« Lean B2B is a must-read to understand one of the most under-addressed
market opportunities by startups: B2B. » - Wandrille
Pruvot, Chief Revenue Officer, Art of Click
« Lean B2B is filled with rock-solid advice for technology
entrepreneurs who want a rapid-growth trajectory. Read it to
increase your certainty and your success rate. - Jill Konrath,
Author of AGILE SELLING and Selling to Big Companies
Read the Lean B2B Blog