On differentiation


One of the biggest components of this is differentiating your product / your company from others. Differentiation is very difficult — there are so many entrepreneurs who are doing something similar to you and also so many alternatives that achieve the same results as your product / solution. So, differentiating your company well is tough. Take the time to really hammer out a clear story on why your product / company is differentiated.

How Can Venture Capital Funds Differentiate Themselves [VC Wish List Part 2]

VC Cafe

10 things VCs can do to differentiate themselves and provide more value to potential investments – based on feedback from dozens of entrepreneurs. Despite the VC’s obvious disadvantage in the early stages, marketing and differentiation of venture capital funds is limited today.

What is vertically integrated ecommerce and when is it appropriate?

The Equity Kicker

Andy Dunn, the founder of Bonobos and one of the most thoughtful writers I know on ecommerce, penned a good piece yesterday entitled Digitally Native Vertical Brands. He was talking about what most of us describe as vertically integrated ecommerce, and gave the following definition: The primary means of interacting, transacting, and story-telling to consumers is via the web. It’s a brand, and that brand is vertical.

Vertical Markets 2: Customer/Market Risk versus Invention Risk.

Steve Blank

Steve,&# he said, “you’re missing the most interesting part of vertical markets. Filed under: Customer Development , Technology , Vertical Markets | Tagged: Steve Blank , Customer Development , Early Stage Startup , Tips for Startups « Vertical Markets 1: Bad Advice – All Startups are the Same Rocks in the Rocket Science Lobby » 7 Responses DavidS , on May 28, 2009 at 5:48 am Said: Interesting post Steve.

What exactly is a managed marketplace?

Version One Ventures

I think this is an important discussion to have and I am trying to develop a framework to differentiate between the different terms. And every underlying use case and vertical might require a different approach.

Why large companies acquire small companies

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Even if this costs more than 2 years of in-house assembly, it’s still worth it, due to accelerating revenue growth due to up-sales and market-differentiation. To get there, Atlassian has to go beyond its traditional market of developer teams and branch out into other verticals.”

6 Strategies to Keep Your Business Self-Sustaining

Startup Professionals Musings

New domains would include attracting business customers as well as individuals, taking your online business into retail, and diving into verticals.

Talking to a VC About Your Competitors

Both Sides of the Table

which features do you believe your customers care about and where you’re try to differentiate? One of the most common ways to present the competition slide is to show your company stacked against your main competitors, who will be plotted in vertical columns against each other.

Who will be the Stripe for insurance?

Version One Ventures

But beyond Shopify, virtually any transactional SaaS product out there has added payments – from horizontal solutions like FreshBooks to vertical SaaS products like Clio and Jobber (both V1 portfolio companies ). Software has become the wrapper for a commoditized product and as such, it has turned payments into a much more differentiated product. A few years ago, we began to see SaaS companies integrate payment processing into their software.

Get to Know Richard de Silva of Highland Capital

Both Sides of the Table

He is starting to see this occur in sites that are verticalizing content. It has become a short form premium destination that is verticalizing content in category channels. He does think there are opportunities in vertical search.

Demand Generation: Turning Tactics into Strategy


For MST Solutions, Bogdanovich has focused on executing well on one vertical per quarter, then expanding to other verticals. Each quarter is an opportunity to test and refine campaign tactics for other verticals. “I There’s a building. In a back room, a guy peels potatoes.

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Money Out of Nowhere: How Internet Marketplaces Unlock Economic Wealth


In many cases, a deeper focus on a particular category or vertical allows these marketplaces to distinguish themselves from broader marketplaces like eBay. These vertical labor marketplaces are to LinkedIn what companies like Zillow, Expedia, and GrubHub are to Google search.

SaaS Wars: Europe Awakens

Cracking the Code

Europe is underrepresented in vertical SaaS solutions – 17% of the companies vs. 23% in the US. Vertical solutions are typically a sign of a more mature ecosystem. In Europe, a range of vertical SaaS companies is beginning to emerge, and it's likely to catch-up in the future.

6 PPC Tactics for Account-Based Marketing Campaigns


While those tactics may have differentiated your campaigns in the past, they no longer do (or won’t soon). Or, at the very least, narrowly targeted verticals.). PPC campaigns continue to become increasingly well-targeted.

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The Great Voice Consolidation

View from Seed

Because voice activation may require users to know both what they want and who provides it, today’s leading brands in any given vertical will have a huge advantage. Even with very specific asks, the value of platform differentiation beyond library volume starts to erode with voice. Speech is our fastest natural means of communicating. Until we’re all chipped and can talk in wordless brainwaves like Professor X, voice is the human ceiling for external command and expression.

Cloud Europe 2017: The Factory is Cranking

Cracking the Code

Comparing the list to the top 300 leading SaaS companies in the US, some interesting trends emerge: Europe is showing strength in data/ analytics and security, driven by the booming ecosystem in Israel but is less represented in developer/infrastructure and vertical applications.

How to Get Superior Returns in Venture Capital

David Teten

He looked at his resume, and asked just one question: “ What’s your edge? ” My friend got the job because his answer was differentiated, credible, and backed up by a history of investing success. It is unexciting and hard to prove, but in fact “We execute better” is a critical differentiator.

How to Get Superior Returns in Venture Capital

David Teten

He looked at his resume, and asked just one question: “ What’s your edge? ” My friend got the job because his answer was differentiated, credible, and backed up by a history of investing success. It is unexciting and hard to prove, but in fact “We execute better” is a critical differentiator.

Software Eating Industries

Mucker Lab

From the outside, they are vertically integrated challengers to decades if not hundred-years old incumbents. For a long time, software was viewed as an enabler and accelerant for competitive differentiation for incumbents.

Interview with eFounders

Cracking the Code

The SaaS infrastructure will become increasingly more driven by APIs: developers will use more API driven services like Algolia or Segment to reduce time to market and focus their dev resources on the part of their product which differentiate them.

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Learning From The OG iPod

Mucker Lab

Most brilliant “Internet of Things” ideas are quicksand for capital unless you have the branding, vertical integration and customer lock-in that Apple achieved. Second, Apple vertically integrated the user experience, business model and distribution model. Who can build a premium consumer brand, vertically integrate the entire model and make loyalty the default choice for every customer?

“I can tell if a podcast is going to stink beforehand if the person has a PR person asking for questions.” Digiday’s Brian Morrissey on Digital Media, VC and Light at the End of the Tunnel.

Hunter Walker

The idea was to build a publishing-focused brand with events as a revenue base while we figured out our own differentiation in a crowded market — and then added business lines around advertising, custom content and now subscriptions. Twitter Friend.

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Search Intent: How to Analyze and Optimize Your Site


If you can get to the bottom of Page 1, a page title and meta description written for humans (rather than search engines) could help differentiate your site, earn more clicks, and ( probably ) send positive signals back to search engines. What answer is a searcher looking for?

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Simple But Powerful Tips for Naming Your Business or Startup

The Startup Magazine

Depending on your vertical, total cost of business name change can run into millions of dollars like the attempt to change UTA to TDU. Differentiation in this case is key. A name is a label by which animate or inanimate things are called or referenced.

Selling to the enterprise: “Sell to few” vs. “sell to many”?

Version One Ventures

How do we differentiate between B2B start-ups that sell to many vs. sell to a few? The SaaS model, with its inherent low customer acquisition costs (CAC) and ease of deployment, makes it possible for companies to be successful when focusing on the SMB market, as well as niche verticals. A key investment thesis here at Version One is that we like to invest in companies that “sell to many” over companies that “sell to few.”

Viral 101

This Week in VC with Om Malik & Paul Jozefak

Both Sides of the Table

The strategy of GigaOm and where they differentiate in the market. Network of vertical focused sites: BeachMint, BeachMint, WineMint, etc.; first vertical to launch by 2010 Holiday Season. To see the video of This Week in VC click on this link.

The evolution of an investment theme

The Equity Kicker

In the case of social software all the evidence suggests that the investment theme is strong and there will be more winners in this space, but the next generation will work hard to differentiate themselves from their forbears by specialising in different process areas or distinct verticals. IBM has just announced the acquisition of social recruitment business Kenexa for $1.3bn, the latest of a string of ‘social’ enterprise software businesses to be acquired this year.

How valuations are really determined at the seed stage?


Because valuation is based on supply and demand, these are the levers that affect your valuation: Market / economic conditions Geography Competitive landscape of your vertical Compelling components of your business (revenue / team / growth / performance) How you run your fundraising process Market conditions Unfortunately, market conditions are completely out of your control. It will be REALLY important for you to put a LOT of work into your differentiation story.

What Jonah @Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed, Sees in the Future of Digital Media

Both Sides of the Table

But I knew I had to look for investments in “software meets X (often known as Vertical Software solutions)” rather than necessarily horizontal enterprise software applications. BuzzFeed.

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How to Do a Competitive Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide


To create a value proposition that really differentiates your offer, you have to know how competitors position themselves. Reviewing a competitor’s online presence helps me understand how to differentiate my client. What I’m looking for are common trends within that vertical.


Banner Ads Suck (and How to Make Them Convert Better)


As I mentioned earlier, part of the banner blindness problem is that readers completely fail to see the ads, let alone differentiate them from the content. In November 2014, Google published findings that suggest vertical ad units are the most viewable.

10pm till 1am

Start Up Blog

More valued to the market and most importantly differentiated. Technological disruption means we need to be wide in our skill base, not thin and vertical. My previous blog post has 12 random thoughts I came up with.

Myth: Online Labor Marketplaces Only Lower Worker Wages

Hunter Walker

But here’s the thing – if you have a differentiated skill, marketplaces will actually substantially increase your effective hourly wage. It’s a bold statement about the future of labor in the legal vertical and, obviously, we like it. “By creating competition for task/project-based employment, online labor marketplaces lower average wages for workers.

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The only 2 ways to build a $100 million business

Version One Ventures

Route One: High LTV per user The exact definition of a “high” user LTV depends on the specific vertical, so it’s typically better to analyze the ratio between Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and the Life Time Value of the customer. Companies that score highest in this criteria are typically: E-commerce businesses that fulfill regular needs and offer a differentiated experience or SaaS businesses that help businesses or individuals manage core activities.

First Impressions Matter: Why Great Visual Design Is Essential


Differentiate your website (and your company) with your design. Too often, companies in the same vertical adopt a “me-too” approach in their design aesthetic. People make snap judgments. It takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person.

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Customer Retention Strategies: 4 Phases for Development


For industries with thin profit margins, offering an incentive like 2% off isn’t very enticing, and in many verticals such an offer might require a significant lift in sales to break even.

How Boards Need to Evolve Over Time

Both Sides of the Table

By bringing in an industry player with startup DNA we brought somebody that could push the team much harder on how their value prop would resonate (or not) with customers, which verticals to target our offering to and importantly what others solutions were in the market and how we stacked up.

Open Angel Forum San Fran – Team Calacanis Raises the Bar

Both Sides of the Table

Still, I think that to succeed they really need to focus on vertical niches where they can differentiate and have more focus on content quality and user acquisition. I attended the inaugural Open Angel Forum in Los Angeles back in January and wrote about it here.

What the West needs to know about Russia’s tech scene

The Next Web

As is the case in other countries with a relatively new, rapidly growing tech sector, e-commerce is Russia’s fastest growing vertical. However, in terms of the complexity of deal making and buoyancy of the Russian VC market, there is little to differentiate it from the West.

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Transcript of Increase Profits Through Specialization

Duct Tape Marketing

John Jantsch: One of the ways to really drive up profit is to specialize, is to go into a vertical market, is to go have a niche, to get known as an expert in X, Y, or Z. First of all, so many other people are doing the exact same thing, so there’s no meaningful differentiation.

5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Slopestyle

crowdSPRING Blog

Slopestyle runs are judged on the difficulty of the tricks being executed, the vertical height achieved, and the overall execution of the run. The more complicated the trick, the more breathtaking the vertical height, the greater the risk will impress the judges greatly.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting Competitive Analysis


To create a value proposition that really differentiates your offer, you have to know how the competitors position themselves. Reviewing a competitor’s online presence helps me understand how to differentiate my client. What I am looking for is common trends within that vertical.

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Strategy Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Personalization Remains An Open Problem


and e-commerce businesses, so I would love to work with Kelly to help her figure out the various nuances of building a successful e-commerce business, especially one that differentiates on personalization. I want to start today's recap with a prayer for Steve Jobs.