Monday, February 25, 2008

Can you see it?

I've been spending time working with three startups lately, and in particular spent this afternoon with one of them today working on their business model. These guys built a neat widget, and are working to build a product/business model around it. We made a ton of progress today, but things took an interesting turn when I asked them about the business pitch contest that they're enrolled in later this week.

Like most entrepreneurs head down in their business, they missed it. Sure we have revenue lines, direct and channel sales, etc., but that's not the importance of the pitch for the contest. I asked them what business they are really in, and all I got were blank stares and musings about blah blah blah.

When I expounded on the value of their business to the end user and what their pitch should be made as, it was if a light bulb was turned on inside their heads. The best part - I didn't tell them anything they didn't already know. I just regurgitated their value prop back to them - one that they themselves had already made earlier in the meeting. They were so wrapped up in the strategy that they couldn't see the forest through the trees.

I like these guys. They're tenacious, quick learners and already have some skin in the game. All attributes I like to see.

Will they succeed? That depends on how they execute. But isn't that true about any business? ;-)

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