Jim Harrer

STARTUPS, TURNAROUNDS, APPDEV, AGILE & LIFE...

Selling what you believe, the power of Why before How and What.

The work with our startups intensifies this week as we continue to work on Customer Development and The Lean User Experience. As our Founders move closer to defining their Minimal Viable Products (MVP), they have gone out in the market and interviewed potential customers of their products. As a result, some of our startups have made pivots in their business plan.

I like to celebrate these pivots with our startups. We're six weeks into the process, we've saved monthes of development time by not building software no one will purchase. We're learning more and more about their market segment each and every day. One interesting observation is, with each pivot, the founders are becoming even more passionate about their business. I contribute this to the fact the nine founders are going through this together\, and they're gaining positive energy from the team. This is another benefit of an accelerator; you push through the challenges at a much faster pace.

why how whatThe importance of WHY, before HOW and WHAT.

Simon Sinek, an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world. He wrote a best seller, "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action". Yes, his principles focus on leaders and the importance of communicating "why". I could write about this topic for pages, but I want to stay on point for this post, so...

Sinek believes you should communicate to your customers: WHY your product/solution matters, than HOW it does it and finish with WHAT it does. We believe most companies do this in reverse. Starting with what features the product has, how it does it so well and finishing with why you should but it.

"Sell to people who believe what you believe." Says Sinek. "People don't buy what you do, they purchase why you do it."

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A Twitter Guide for CEOs and Business Owners

Twitter for business owners, explained.

Admittedly, Twitter is an application that most business people never get. You need to live in Twitter and study how other people are using Twitter successfully to connect with existing customers while finding new sales prospects. My goal in this blog post is to highlight how I think businesses should be using Twitter. I also plan to give you some examples of how businesses in different sectors should be taking advantage of Twitter.

First, if you own a business and you’re new to Twitter or still, just don’t “get it” let me give you a quick overview. Twitter is a micro-blogging application designed to send updates or notices to a group of followers. The founders picked 140 characters because that was the limit on most SMS phones for text messaging. The application quickly found a home beyond cell phones where 140 characters could have easily been expanded. However, something interesting happened by accident, the 140 characters made people “get to the point” by using their 140 characters wisely.

If you own a small business owner and wonder how many people in your local area are potential customers, check out a site called LocalTweeps (http://bit.ly/6Sl16o) and do a search by zip code. LocalTweeps' audience is less than 1% of the people in your area using Twitter, but it’s a good place to find people in your area that have established followers. You should add your Twitter account to their free directory while you’re on the site.

Why businesses should use Twitter.

For the purpose of this blog post, I’m only going to focus on two reasons you should create an active Twitter social media program. Obviously, there are more, but let’s stay focused on these two: 

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