The Power of SyncDev:
How to Get Your Team, Business Model, and
Product on the Right Track in 90 Days.
Many teams take a build-it-and-they-will-come approach to development. Unfortunately, they get bad news late, when they're out of runway. They do it that way because they either think they know what customers want or they engage with too few customers in the wrong way.
Well, let's say that you do know what prospects want. But you still need real customers eventually. Therefore, develop and acquire them early, as you develop your product. That creates virtual backlog: specific, named referenceable customers who will buy when your product is ready to ship. Sales will grow more rapidly than if you waited.
You'll also know prospective customers' likely unit volume and purchase price. That way empirical data, not assumptions, will back your pro formas.
Also, if you test-sell as a management team you'll have customer-facing experiences and stories to tell. When tough investors fire off questions, you'll tap dance out answers as a choreographed team. With your market-honed skills and data you'll impress the hell out of backers, partners, and more prospective customers. You'll switch the burden of proof from yourself to the skeptic.
And -- if by chance you had the business model or product wrong -- you'd have pivoted several times early in the face of recurring early customer objections. You'd have avoided the ugly mess of failure unless -- and it is possible -- there was no model that would succeed. In that case you would have folded early while at least some of your powder was still dry.
Who It’s For: CEOs, General Managers and Managers of Engineering, Products, Programs, Marketing, Sales, and Services, and Investors
TM: SyncDev is a trademark of Product & Market Development, Inc.
The Power of SyncDev: How To Get Your Team, Business Model, and Product (MVP) on the Right Track in 90 Days
Many industries practice “sell, design, and build” naturally: OEMs, real estate developers, passenger jet makers, and entrepreneurs without funding. But few tech companies do it. Instead, one team after another devises yet another way get from concept to success. Invariably, it results in a long circuitous path, if not failure.
What you'll learn this day fixes that. In a span of 90 highly choreographed days you fix this by test selling your product face to face with customers whether it's intended for millions of people or just a few.
SyncDev creates new and deepens existing customer relationships around the promise of a new product. Customers change your product and business model direction with their objections, requests, and other bad news that forces you to pivot. When you do, you create “virtual backlog” which validates your MVP and model. It cuts risk and increases return.
How To Discover Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Steve Job’s first computer could be small because it was the first product in a then-small market. But his iPhone had to be big (full featured and very thoughtfully designed) because Apple was then the last entrant in a large market dominated by giants.
In this course you'll learn powerful ways to hypothesize your smallest product based on your current market position. Most importantly, you'll learn six techniques to test it with customers and determine if your hypothetical product is too big or too small.
There is both art and science required to discover the MVP. You'll learn the premise of "Product Elasticity," a comparable to Price Elasticity. A form of price elacticity holds that a price is elastic if when you raise it you increase profit. Likewise with a product. It's elastic if when you make it bigger you increase profit. The problem is that many new products are already in the inelastic region which is what makes discoverying the MVP so important.
|Thursday||How to Get the Meeting (or Get a Restraining Order)||Learn More...|
This course is a must for a team that is ready to do SyncDev. Two people from your team should take it, such as the Product Manager and Product Marketer.
Anyone can go to meetings. But the hardest part is getting the meeting: a) with the right customers, b) with their decision making teams (DMT), and c) on dates that your team is available.
Surprisingly, our large brand name customers have trouble getting the right kind of meetings, even with their current customers. When it comes to meeting new prospects it's even harder.
Now, if you're an early stage company and you're new to your market, it will be harder yet, especially if you’re going into a market that’s new to your team.
In this course you'll learn how target the right accounts, go in at the right organizational level (high), and find your sponsor. For example, in a company of 100,000 people you have a 50% chance of getting to your sponsor within three referrals of the CEO's admin.
Learn when to use email and voice mail (not too often), how to get around an admin's moat protecting the executive from you, what to say and ask to qualify your prospect, and how to close on getting a meeting with the DMT you need, and on your schedule.
To be sure, this is hard to do. Even those people who are very skilled at getting meetings achieve more than a two-thrids yield when it comes to getting six back-to-back meetings with DMTs (four out of six). But by learning these calling, qualifying, and telephone engagement techniques you'll get 30 meetings over 90 days, a key SyncDev objective.
PMDI has been serving venture capital firms (IGSB, Interwest, Mayfield, Sevin Rosen, Kleiner Perkins), Fortune 500 companies (Cisco, IBM, HP), and hundreds of start-ups (Advent, Citrix, and Financial Engines when they started) for over 25 years. We've been instrumental in developing hundreds of products and thousands of customer, channel, and partner relationships.
Frank Robinson, Founder
* * * *
"Lean since before lean was cool."
-- John McIntyre, Director
Citrix Start-Up Accelerator
"When I heard of Frank's market validation process I invited him to lunch. I decided, Nah! I had raised $30 million to start ExpertCity. I knew what to do -- just build it.
"After three years and $10 million we had lots of users. But no one was willing to pay. I called Frank back. We did what he told us to do. Last year Citrix On-Line did $450 million."
--Klaus Schauser, Founder
“Frank Robinson independently came up with many of the concepts in the Customer Discovery and Validation long before I wrote about them. Frank coined the term minimum viable product. I liked it better than minimum feature set, which I used in the first book.”
─Steve Blank, Co-Author
─Bob Dorf, Co-Author
The Startup Owner’s Manual
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