Customer Discovery Video by Steve Blank

Steve Blank on Uncovering the Needs of Your Target Market

Customer discovery is the rigorous process of interviewing potential buyers and determining how your product or service can best meet their needs. In the videos below Steve Blank discusses how the discovery process is about validating your hypothesis and understanding which product features should be built, expanded, or dismantled.

source: Steve Blank

Startup Retailers Should Keep An Eye on Google’s Android Pay Growth

With the variety of current payment systems available, if you are a startup founder you may not be rushing to configure Google’s Android Pay or Apple Pay into your merchant payment plans.

According to Android’s official blog, Android Pay has been experiencing healthy growth in the US, with 1.5 million new registrations per month. Now, Google has announced that Android Pay will be available in the UK in the next few months, and the UK could be a massive market for Google.

Increase In Phone-Enabled Payment Systems

Reports indicate that 54.2 percent of mobile phones sold in the UK during the first quarter of last year were Android-based. In addition, British shoppers made almost 1 billion contactless transactions in stores and places like the Underground last year.

So if you find that you are using traditional payment platforms such as Paypal, Square, etc, it may be time to keep an eye on how the growth of Android and Apple phone-enabled payment systems may impact your business.

Apple Pay

No matter which payment platforms you use, if you can make it easier for customers to buy from you then it may be worth looking into.  With the growth figures cited – for both Android and Apple Pay – it appears that customer adoption will not be an issue.  The bottomline is you don’t want your business left behind of this latest retail payment trend that could positively impact your sales.

Google’s Android Pay mobile payment service has been available in the US since May, but it has yet to make its way to Europe. The Apple Pay rival allows users to buy items from physical retailers by swiping an NFC-enabled phone across a contactless point-of-sale terminal.

In addition, it can be used for purchases in third-party apps. This makes the process a lot easier for users, who won’t have to enter their payment details over and over in multiple apps.  Apple Pay has been available in the UK since last July.

Android Pay

Mobile Payment Service Use

People who own Android smartphones running Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) or higher will be able to use Android Pay anywhere they would normally use a contactless bank card, such as supermarkets and restaurants. In addition, it will work on London’s underground and buses. Some of the stores that will accept the service include Starbucks, BP, Costa Coffee, and Boots.

Users first need to store their card details inside the app, and from then on, they’ll only need to provide a scan of their fingerprint or a passcode in order to authorize a payment. This is widely viewed as being safer than using a physical credit card because the account number does not need to be revealed at the point of purchase. Moreover, in the event that someone does manage to intercept the encrypted information as it is transmitted, they would not be able to use it again for future payments.

 

source: Tobias Matthews, Fourth Source

Targetable Customers and Critical Factors Linked To Startup Success

Kathryn Gould, co-founder of Foundation Capital, talks about how a startup’s success relies on two critical factors:

  1. Identifying a targetable customer
  2. Having a compelling product

Gould, interviewed by tech-industry journalist Mike Malone, also explains that competition for entrepreneurs is more likely the startup that launches after them, and not the incumbent they seek to unseat.

A target customer means a targetable customer; you have to figure out who they are, where they are, how you’re going to reach them and you have to have a way to reach them.  Targetable customers have to have certain characteristics and if you can figure all that out, that would tell you what your kind of sales and marketing strategy needs to be.

And the compelling reason to buy is the product needs to be so good or so compelling to them in a way that they’ll kind of do anything to get it like deal with a lot of bugs, stuff that doesn’t work right, pay you some advance money to continue the development.  Compelling usually means a revenue enhancer, not just a cost reduction. Cost reducers are fine but gets them more revenue faster is really compelling.

 

Source: Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series – Kathryn Gould

Mastermind Session – Entrepreneur Roundtable on Staying Funded – part 2

eLuminate Mastermind Session Entrepreneur Roundtable

Three entrepreneurs that have successfully raised capital are interviewed about critical issues that they faced throughout the funding process.  A fun, informal-style roundtable that covers key issues impacting new and experienced founders, before, during, and after getting funded.  eLuminate Mastermind Session: Entrepreneur Roundtable was moderated by eLuminate Network founder & CEO, Sharon R. Brown, and covered topics such as:

  1. Structuring the sales process in preparation for funding.
  2. Building a team and getting the right people in place, before seeking funding.
  3. Key advice on getting funded

Register for your free eLuminate membership to get access to access additional clips from the series, when posted. (http://eLuminateNetwork.com | @eLuminateOnline)

Entrepreneur Roundtable on Marketing and Sales

Marketing From the Perspective of a Startup

Eight randomly selected entrepreneurs share insights on sales and marketing in an informal roundtable discussion. Learn about marketing and sales, from the perspective of a startup.

eLuminate Entrepreneur Roundtable Series moderated by eLuminate Network founder and CEO, Sharon R. Brown.  A fun, informal-style roundtable that covers key issues impacting entrepreneurs, from start up to advanced growth.

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