Isn't a 'Minimal Viable Product' Kinda Lame?

Launching Tech Ventures

Saturday, March 5, 2011 Isnt a Minimal Viable Product Kinda Lame? by Charlotte Jepps Forgive me for being biased by the fact Im currently wrestling with distilling what I think is a great idea down into a minimal viable form, but I cant help but find this concept inherently frustrating.

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Startup Blog: Startup Basics Recap from Interview

Taffy Williams

As an example, note the enthusiasm exhibited by a local business owner as highlighted in the Fox News in Charlotte, NC June 5, 2011 in a story covered by Renee LaSalle. Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of

Know the competition and key decision maker before your next pitch

Taffy Williams

Planning a business and developing a sales pitch for customers, partners, or investors is part of the startup effort. The advantages of the technology or products become part of the CEO’s pitch to show the listener how they will benefit from an engagement with the startup.

Selling Your Soul, It May Be OK

Taffy Williams

I was asked to comment on a Quora question relating to partnering with a large company. The question related to the fact that a single large company wanted to become the sole source sales and marketer of a product of a small company. You obtain guarantees on total annual sales or you get the product and all customers back i.e. claw-back arrangements , 3. You do not have restrictions on other possible products you can make in the future, and 4.

You Just Made the Sale, Now SHUT UP!

Taffy Williams

This is the case whether the buyer is: · someonepurchasing a retail product, · apossible business transaction like partnering or M&A · providingfinancing in the form of debt or equity · ormost anything else. A companywas courting two businesses to gain assistance in evaluating a product. After tense discussions with both, the company had decided that it wouldrather have the commercial entity as a partner. entrepreneur partnering Startup sales negotiating

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Startup Blog: Where is Your Market? Adjust Your Pitch to Fit.

Taffy Williams

The first thought that comes to mind when addressing a market is your product and end users. Defining that market and developing your products for the end user is an essential step in the growth of a startup. They will want to know how you plan to sell your products to the end user.

What You Can Learn About Digital Storytelling From The Van Gogh Museum


I’m grateful to the team, specially, Charlotte Bosman and Edith Schreurs who took time out for answering some of the questions we shared with them! Or does the museum work with external partners to implement these techniques?

100 plus articles published in the Examiner

Taffy Williams

The following articles are published in the and cover issues of startups and entrepreneurship. The list covers all articles published as of April 10, 2013.

Startup Blog: Take a Stand!

Taffy Williams

It may be around deal structure, testing or design of product, new hires, downsizing or firing, how much to spend on a program or some other issue. Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of

Sales and Marketing Is Up to the Startup CEO

Taffy Williams

Entrepreneurs are not often equipped with the sales and marketing experience for products. They have a burning desire to develop a business and create products. Critical product sales and marketing staff are future hires to a startup CEO. A company with no products does not need dedicated people early in the company development. However, the CEO soon realizes there is a product that requires extensive marketing and sales early in the company cycle.

A Corporate Spy Shop

Taffy Williams

Your business plan should have a competition section where you provide some analysis of products and companies that may present a problem for your business. You need this info to show any investor you are in command of the space and your products can be competitive.

Entrepreneurs experience piling on

Taffy Williams

For example, a company has an extremely exciting and valuable technology and finds that potential partners, investors, or consumers clamor for rights or access. Consumers will flock to the stores to purchase the product and the company books huge increases in the sales and earnings.

Champing At The Bit: Can You Pay Your Workers In Bitcoin?


You can purchase bitcoins electronically and then use them to make payments and purchase products or services from companies accepting the currency, and the number of these companies continues to increase steadily. Adam Bridgers is an associate in Fisher Phillips’ Charlotte, N.C.

Are You Drinking Your Own Cool Aide

Taffy Williams

One of theactivities of any entrepreneur is to make investor and partnering pitches. What is sometimesmissed is the continual reinforcement of how great your product and businesshas become, or at least that is what you are selling. The sharper and more focused presentationwith reinforcement of concepts cause the presenter to become even more sold on thebusiness or products. Maybe you will find the answer that will take an investor or partner toa YES.

Startup Blog: Got Money or Need Money? Doesn't Matter. Focus.

Taffy Williams

The platform allows for multiple projects and products that can be created and protected by the Intellectual Property (IP). The tendency is to try and create a long pipeline of products that will allow for potential investors to have a product flow in the future.

A Google Docs interview with Richard Simms, co-founder of Tech Talent South

Jeff Hilimire

Right now, we run programs here in Atlanta (where we started the company) as well as in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Asheville, NC. I was doing an early-stage startup in Chicago and Betsy was running a physical product development company in Charlotte that she’d recently sold.

3 Main startup traits attract money and talent

Taffy Williams

Future employees, investors, or potential business partners may describe my factors in different terms. I must see plans toward monetizing the technology and converting products into a sustainable business. I also love to see products that improve people’s lives in some unique way.

Entrepreneurs must be excel at selling

Taffy Williams

Sales are essential to prepare for even before the product comes to market. Marketing and sales of medical products are even more complex than many other types of products. Entrepreneurs must understand their markets and sales criteria for the products.

Dialing for Dollars

Taffy Williams

The funds come from a wide range of sourceslike VCs, Funds, Super Angels, Partners, and other business relationships. One greatway to get non-dilutive financing is by partnering a product you may not wishto develop or sell yourself. Reaching out tothem requires having a sales pitch that is product specific and demonstratesthe value of the product in general and to the possible partner.

Bring something to the party when working with others

Taffy Williams

You want to develop a business relationship with a potential partner, investor, or strategic interest. Coming back to the topic, you must review your objectives and determine what you plan to do for your partner or business associate, not just what you want from the relationship.

It Is Not a Fit

Taffy Williams

Theycome from investors, potential partners, friends, family, and YOU. This includes things like eating M&Ms allthe way finding the right business relationship with a partner. Your job is to evaluate as much aspossible the landscape and help show the fit to the investor, partner or otherentity. It is hard to sell a product to someone thatalready has 5 of them and is not happy with the product at all. What did that investor mean “ it is not a fit ?”

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How I Doubled My Sales in One Year

Inc Startups

Michelle Fish, EO Charlotte Founder/CEO, Integra Staffing & Search Make an acquisition. "I Our video production company doubled its sales by targeting ad agencies that already had relationships with large clients, but did not have in-house video production capabilities.

How I Built a Sushi Empire

Inc Startups

One that caught our eye was Charlotte, North Carolina-based Hissho Sushi. He chose Charlotte as the company's base because of the number of banks the city had, but quickly learned they were hesitant to give him a loan without previous successes. Quality product and detailed service was what brought Hissho early success, allowing it to snowball into the franchise it is today. The product is also in areas people who are no longer eating out usually tend to go: the supermarket.

5 Reasons entrepreneurs never get their big exit

Taffy Williams

The ability to learn how a business is developed and products sold can be valuable. You and your products are being scrutinized to the highest levels. Sometimes a single slip-up or error can cause investors, customers, or partners to stay away for long periods.

Questions for assessing risks and rewards

Taffy Williams

This step may help in many situations like testing a new service provider or manufacturing partner. The sharing can apply to a variety of risky situations in your business like shared sales, marketing, or product development. This reduces the risk of a product failure.

Inside Edison Nation: A Willy Wonka-Style Warehouse of Inventions

Inc Startups

At Edison Nation, you''ll find high-tech design studios, 3-D printing labs, and ultra-modern offices bursting with products that have made millionaires out of amateur tinkerers. Turns out, they’re housed in a renovated grist mill on the outskirts of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

You Cannot Fix STUPID

Taffy Williams

Starting new business has enough risk without adding the risks of managing a team developing a product of which you do not understand. The CEO can focus on investors, finances, raising capital, PR, IR, partnering, legal, contractual matters, and general oversight. Other articles are published in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of As an entrepreneur starting a company, you have a serious obligation to know or at least learn the business.

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Did Simon and Garfunkel Sing About Your Startup?

Taffy Williams

After all, first to market may have a significant advantage especiallyif you have a superior product. Startups mayhave several key events that need to be managed simultaneously: 1) find money,2) build a product, 3) find partners, 4) set up overseas operations, and 5)manage a product launch. Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of

Startup Blog: Stuck? Mix it up a bit!

Taffy Williams

Change the Pitch : Convincing people to invest, partner, or buy a product usually involves telling them a story and pressing for closure. Consider Getting a Partner : It is rather common that startups have little or no money and resources are tight.

Founders behaving badly negatively affect the business

Taffy Williams

Non-employees may be potential business partners or future employees. As one example, a university professor claimed to invent a product at the university a year after joining a company. Other articles are in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of

Are You Building Your Business With a Crock-pot or a Microwave?

Duct Tape Marketing

If we sell a product that used to have a 6-month sales cycle, we could reasonably do a weighted forecast, six months out. Based in Charlotte, NC, Leading Results has worked with Duct Tape Marketing for five years and is a Gold Certified Hubspot partner.

6 great athlete-entrepreneurs and what they accomplished

crowdSPRING Blog

As a brand unto himself, he not only acted as a spokesman, endorsing numerous other brands, but is also the owner of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats, which he bought for around $175 million in 2010. We all have a great deal to learn as entrepreneurs and we look in many directions for inspiration.

Startup Blog: Need Investment? Increase the Chances by Beefing Up.

Taffy Williams

Many companies with A-teams can better overcome obstacles, get deals done, find partners, and re-invent the company when disaster hits. A platform technology is one which allows for multiple product opportunities from the same technology.

Startup Blog: Why Do I Keep Doing This to Myself!

Taffy Williams

· After finishing a major study requiring regulatory approval which was required to market a product, the manufacturing team demonstrated the product could not be made. · A company built an $80MM manufacturing facility just in time to find out the product did not work.

America’s founding entrepreneurs: revolution at work

crowdSPRING Blog

As a brand unto himself, he not only acted as a spokesman, endorsing numerous other brands, but is also the owner of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats, which he bought for around $175 million in 2010.

Need Money? A Few Links to Possible Investors

Taffy Williams

Remember, you are taking a partner and you will be living with the investors for some time. Licensing or Partnering with a BigCo or Vendor. These can come with upfront cash and future payments from the partner, or for services now and promise of future payments. This may be more for technologies which are user oriented but may not fit with medical products for example. Other articles can be found in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of


One Day at a Time

Taffy Williams

The funds and criteria for funds willing to participatein financing rounds in excess of $10MM for companies needing in excess of $50MMto launch a first product has changed. Try to find corporate partners thatmay have interest in your business. Possibly a manufacturing partner iswilling to become a partner. Other articles can befound in the Charlotte, NC- small business section of

43 Entrepreneurs Explain Why They Started Their Businesses


3) I needed the product. I started my business because I personally needed the product we built. I figured I was not alone in wanting this product, so I asked around and it turns out that lots of other women wanted it too. Thanks to Kyle Reyes, The Silent Partner Marketing !

How to pivot away $34m: Israel’s Xeround shuts it doors with a lesson

The Next Web

For two and a half years Xeround tried to push their solution as an OEM product to major telecom companies like Ericsson, Siemens and Nokia, but the red tape involved when dealing with major providers made the process excruciatingly long.

Advantis Global: Fast Growth, Come Boom or Bust

Inc Startups

Barber-;a telecom sales veteran with more than 20 years' experience-;was working for OnFiber, while Taylor, who had worked in IT for just as long, was running his consulting and staffing firm, Ascend Quality Partners, out of the same co-working space.