Techstars- finding the right customer and leveraging your network


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T.A. McCann's talk to startup entrepreneurs at Techstars Seattle about how to leverage your network and tools to get early influencers and customers.

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Techstars- finding the right customer and leveraging your network

  1. 1. T.A. McCann – create something great<br />
  2. 2. Soft Labour<br />HelpShare<br />Microsoft<br />Polaris<br />MOD Systems<br />Jump2go<br />Vulcan<br />Gist<br />Lessons learned…<br />
  3. 3. #Fail!<br />
  4. 4. 4<br />#WIN!<br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6. VS.<br />Vision, Visualize, Plan, Operate<br />
  7. 7. Our next big idea…<br />7<br />
  8. 8. A valuable target customer<br />Business professional<br />Places high value of relationships (>8/10)<br />Has significant % of relationships outside company<br />Uses technology to gain information advantage<br />Trained to pay monthly service fees<br />Blackberry/iPhone<br /><br />LinkedIn Pro<br />Zoom Info/Hoovers<br />Roles include (execs, sales, recruiter, biz dev, VC, PR, journalists, lawyers…)<br />Influencer of others on small teams<br />Often fits in GTD category as well<br />Technical, early but not bleeding edge adopter<br />9/17/10<br />8<br />confidential<br />
  9. 9. The facets of your customer – who are they from every angle<br />Survey Monkey can help you think, capture and scale<br />Spend your currency (alpha, beta, connections…) to get valuable feedback<br />Reward the people who engage with social currency<br />FOG (friends of Gist) – every Wednesday night for 18 months<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Kevin Spidel<br />"I am the Managing Director of an international PR firm and am very active on the social web. Gist allows me to cut through the noise and manage my contacts directly. I am able to monitor what matters... the relationship."<br />Managing Director<br />Patriot Strategies<br /><br />Washington, DC, USA<br />5300 contacts, 1279 companies<br />Gist user since 11/03/09 – has invited 34 users<br />
  11. 11. 11<br />
  12. 12. Coverage<br />“..we expect sales personnel to flock to Gist, since the output provides a much richer portrait of contacts and companies than could be gleaned otherwise…supplying users with a ready excuse to stay in touch with customers and prospects.””<br />- Gartner Group, Cool Vendors in the High Performance Workplace, 2009, Matt Cain<br />“Gist, which we’ve already dubbed the power networker’s fantasy service for syncing social media data with email connections, has just launched their free iPhone app to tackle that challenge head on.”<br />- Mashable, Gist Launches iPhone App for Power Networking On the Go<br />“Gist already has a strong following among sales types because its algorithms can surface important contacts and flag folks they should be in touch with.”<br />- ZDNet Between the Lines, The business-to-business of Gist, Larry Dignan<br />“Gist works with Outlook and other email programs to keep users updated on news about contacts through social-network sites.”<br />- Wall Street Journal, Updating Office on the Cheap, Nick Wingfield<br />
  13. 13. Marketing <br />Find your connected, core user – engage early, often and deeply<br />Listen to the influencers (reference, repost, re-use, retweet)<br />Create your own compelling story (personal, product, plan)<br />Surf the buzzword waves (e.g. “social CRM”)<br />Be the brand<br />Read<br />Seth Godin<br />Clay Shirky<br />Chris Brogan<br />13<br />
  14. 14. Find your influencers and connectors…<br />14<br />The social maven<br />(Robert Scoble)<br />The “new” analyst<br />(Brent Leary)<br />The passionate user<br />(Eric Standlee)<br />
  15. 15. Listen to the conversation<br />
  16. 16. 9/17/10<br />16<br />
  17. 17. How Gist Works…<br />
  18. 18. Profiles – everything I need in one place<br />
  19. 19. Profiles – everything I need in one place<br />
  20. 20. Inside Outlook – integrated with my workflow<br />20<br />9/17/10<br />
  21. 21. Inside Gmail…<br />9/17/10<br />21<br />
  22. 22. Mobile – smart, relevant information, on the go<br />22<br />9/17/10<br />
  23. 23. 23<br />
  24. 24. Set big goals<br />Leverage your professional network<br />Get connected to real customers<br />Listen and learn<br />Fail fast and iterate on product AND customers<br />Persist<br />Go make something great.<br />