Know if you’ll hit your targets before pulling the trigger on any marketing plan.
More than sixty five percent of new products are commercial failures, and if you compound this with a recession, now more than ever you can’t afford to be wrong. In If You Build It Will They Come, business professor and strategy consultant Rob Adams shows you how to make sure you hit your target market before you spend a lot of money. He shows you the fast, systematic and proven approach of performing Market Validation in advance of making a large product investment.
Adams outlines a simple and effective market validation and testing strategy that is proven, giving entrepreneurs and managers the ability to dramatically improve the prospect of product success. He explains how to quickly gather information on competitors, directly interview members of your target market, and figure out what the market really wants to buy, versus what customers say they want.
- The steps to quickly understanding the viability of your market
- Where to go to gather the information needed to hit the market requirements
- How to follow through with the right product launched in the right way
Adams cuts through the fancy terms and expensive market research that gives lots of data but no real product oriented information about usage, pricing, features and competitive forces. In the end you’ll produce results on your first release of a far more mature product, shipped in a faster timeframe with features customers will actually use.
This book is for anyone involved with designing, developing and launching new products. Its examples and advice cover everything from the fledgling start-up that needs their first product to work just to survive to the successful Fortune Class company establishing new worldwide markets. Examples cut across all major industrial sectors including consumer, retail, manufacturing, technology, life sciences and services. This book offers the step-based guidance you need to make sure failure is not an option.
“Rob has taken one the most basic concepts from his first book (A Good Hard Kick in the Ass: Basic Training for Entrepreneurs) – the idea of sound Market Validation – and expanded on it with his usual clarity. This book provides a clear, concise set of steps to follow for companies or individuals who are serious about bringing products and services to market that deliver compelling value to their target customers. Whether you’re sitting in your garage trying to be the next Google, or sitting in your office trying to extend your Fortune 1000 company’s product line, this book will show you how to develop products that really win in the market.” Mark McClain, CEO and Founder, Sailpoint
“This disciplined approach will force any entrepreneur or intrapreneur to take a brutally honest look at the cold hard facts relevant to their planned product development and launch – before it’s too late. A must read for those who want to avoid the potential pitfalls of product development and marketing.” Curt Jackson, Director, Global Technology & Capital Management, Toppan Photomasks, Inc.
“Lots of people run; few ever run a four minute mile. Lot’s of people swing a bat; few ever clear a wall 350 feet out. Lots of people take the SAT; few ever score a perfect 2400. Lot’s of people launch new products; few ever garner meaningful revenues. What do these have in common: the clear focus and discipline it takes to excel at something truly difficult. Rob lays out the not so obvious basics that will enable you too to get a perfect score on your next new product launch.” Bruce Roberson, Retired Director, McKinsey and Company
“Adams has once again shown that he understands the power of market guidance and the practical aspects of collecting market input. This book is clear and definitive about how all companies can gain critical advantage during the product design phase when it has the most impact while avoiding costly mistakes. Adams presents practical and objective ways to access markets and describes the powerful insights that can be realized. I’ve been helping companies for 20 years with exactly these kinds of Market Validation programs and Adams’ Ready Aim Fire approach is exactly on the money.” Peter Simon, President, Simon Management
“Adams has done it again. He’s assembled the collective wisdom of countless product launches, executive interviews and business experiences and shown with clarity how companies can efficiently deliver market oriented products. On the one hand this material is not only compelling, but obvious; on the other, few companies actually do it. This book should change all that – Market Validation is a required strategy for 21st century success.” John Sibley Butler, Director, IC2 Institute, University of Texas at Austin
“This is an amazing articulation of the Market Validation process Rob Adams has been taking companies through for so long. It directly reflects the kind of work Rob has done so long and so effectively with tremendous results. This is a must read for all executives and anyone involved with delivering products or services to the market. The material in this book can save you immeasurable amounts of time, money and wasted effort.” Eliza Evans, President and CEO, InCenter
Amazon.com Editorial Reviews
Rob Adams–an ex-Marine and former technology executive who now runs an “accelerator venture fund” that works like an entrepreneurial boot camp–offers A Good Hard Kick in the Ass to wake up and shake up today’s would-be business owner. The era when virtually any wannabe could turn an intriguing idea and slick presentation into a hefty bankroll is long past, of course. Adams believes the current environment calls instead for a return to elementary but oft-ignored rules expressed here through blunt admonitions (good ideas are a dime a dozen, you don’t know your customers as well as you think you do, you don’t need big bucks right out of the gate) meant to counter the “startup myths and misconceptions” many hopefuls still harbor. Each chapter breaks down one delusion-busting assertion into specific suggestions (assemble a team with solid “execution intelligence,” validate the market, forge a strategy for getting out there quickly) and is fleshed out with the real-life experiences of both big-name techno-ventures and some of the embryonic participants in Adams’s AV Labs. Any time you step up to the plate to start a company, you take a chance on striking out, he says, but following these steps should at least get you into the game. –Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
In brisk, straightforward prose, venture capitalist Adams systematically destroys most of the misconceptions potential entrepreneurs have about starting a company, and tells them how to cover the basics, from knowing the customer to hiring good employees. Adams explains why a good idea is not necessary for success (good ideas are plentiful commodities; he contends; execution is really what matters); business plans are overrated (since most of the investors who give a company funding spend most of their time evaluating its employees); and most people don’t know as much about their customers as they think they do (which is why customer research is vital). Adams’s no-nonsense, fast-paced, slightly sarcastic style (think drill sergeant meets MTV veejay) makes this an engaging read, especially for Gen-X and Gen-Y capitalists (e.g., “I have nothing against team-building outings they’re necessary. But come on: Cozumel? Get real!”). The focus on tech companies (Adams finances startups and began his own career as a technology executive at Lotus) feels dated, but the underlying advice is sound for all kinds of enterprises. He tends to stress the negative, spending more time on what not to do than offering proactive advice. Still, his book offers an excellent checklist of new-business pitfalls, making it worthwhile for anyone thinking of starting a company. B&w illus. Agent, Daniel Greenberg. (Feb. 5)Forecast: The book’s “in your face” title and jacket will attract attention, and its straight-up advice will please readers. –Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.