Startup Marketing Essentials

This may be the best book available that teaches you how to market your idea or startup on a low budget and how to conduct entrepreneurial marketing events.

It is written by BYU professors Dr. Gary Rhoads, Dr. Michael Swenson and Dr. Gary Whitlark who spent a combined hundred years advising startups, teaching and testing their ideas.

Blue Ocean Strategy

Why Smart Entrepreneurs Choose Killer Ideas to Start Booming Businesses

By Robert John Stevens, CEO of WriteExpress Corporation

If you’re not familiar with the books Boom Start: Super Laws of Successful Entrepreneurs and Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, I want to share some of their insights.

A Blue Ocean Product is a product in a unique category that dominates a situation. If people want a Blue Ocean Product they must buy it from the leader because there are no relevant competitors. Blue Ocean Products often enjoy high profit margins for a very long time.

Start-up Millenniata picked a winner for their Blue Ocean Product

Did you know that your data, digital photos, and home movies are not safe? CDs and DVDs can start losing data after just months, and especially after a decade? Millenniata invented the ultimate solution—a DVD player that reads and writes DVDs that may last more than 1,000 years. If you want to buy one, you have to buy it from Millenniata or their resellers because there are no competitors.

Decision makers notify each other about Blue Ocean Products

Millenniata‘s technology is so hot that archive, government, military and corporate executives phone their friends to tell them about it.

The biggest mistake most entrepreneurs make

Not realizing the power of a Blue Ocean Strategy, entrepreneurs often make the mistake of building their startup based on a Red Ocean Product—a product in a market with plenty of competitors: A techie learns about a booming product, tries it, and feels he or she can create a better one—usually by improving on a few features. This is usually a recipe for disaster. Odds are that a start-up based on a Red Ocean Product will get beaten up. Red Oceans are bloody. If your start-up wants to compete in a Red Ocean, you will get hurt.

Let big corporations compete in Red Oceans

The ultimate example is Microsoft entering the well-established, multi-billion-dollar gaming industry with Xbox. They could withstand loses on every sale, but had the resources to gain traction.

Sometimes there is room for 2nd, 3rd and even 4th place Red Ocean Products, especially if the market is large enough. Avis capitalizes on not being the leader. Their tagline “We try harder” successfully promotes their #2 market position. But unless competing companies have huge resources to expend, often they all fight for a small slice of the market.

If you have a Red Ocean Idea, it is better to sharpen your business angle to create a Blue Ocean Product or Service by narrowing your focus or sharpening your business angle.

For example, if you had enough genius scientists to compete with Millenniata, you may offer 1,000-year disk storage specifically for libraries.

Why compete when you can create augmented products?

Boom Start authors tell us that Blue Ocean Products can quickly create a profitable aftermarket of augmented products. For example, why not buy a 1,000-year vault for your Millenniata DVDs? Whether or not Millenniata has the resources to focus on augmented products, it may be wise for them to invest in, empower or promote startups that can.

Blue Ocean Products attract horses

One Boom Start Super Law is to Ride Horses. Horses are defined as well-known, influential people in their industry that people follow. Two of the most successful horses in America are probably Oprah and Marie Osmond. If Oprah invites you to demonstrate your product on her TV show, your sales will probably explode.

It is difficult for Red Ocean Companies to attract a horse to promote their product because horses do not promote “me too” products, at least not for free. Nike paid Michael Jordan more than 15 million to promote their athletic footwear (a Red Ocean Market) and the return on investment was in the billions.

Unfortunately, startups rarely have the funds to attract high-paid horses.

Customers feel safe going with the market leader

They feel unsure about buying clones or look-a-likes.

Many successful startups built on a Blue Ocean Product wonder why their sales decline as they spend years creating nothing but Red Ocean Products.

Sometimes Blue Ocean Products are so successful that most people can’t name the competitors. For example, can you name the competitors of Apple’s iTunes, iPod or iPhone?

Why spend money on traditional marketing when you can create events with blue ocean products?

Create low-budget marketing events attract the news media. These events are 600-800% more effective than traditional advertising. Smart entrepreneurial marketers spend $1 only if it makes $2.

Copyright © 2009 Robert Stevens. All rights reserved.

This article was commenced on December 11, 2009. Last update: December 8, 2016.

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Discontent, Not Complacency Leads to Progress

by Robert John Stevens, November 28, 2016

I’ve worked with managers who remain positive about the products and services offered by their companies even while customers abandon them, profits deteriorate and complete failure is imminent.

Ironically, these managers are usually rewarded by their friends who were inspired by their positive leadership and feel compelled to offer them a management job in their new company.

Hiring people we admire makes us feel good about ourselves.

In contrast to that, entrepreneurs or creatures of discontent are usually scorned by their friends and family for their negativity and told they should get a real job.

But for those who can rise above the negative feedback they receive, they look for discontent because discontent and not complacency leads to progress.

For most employees, discontent leads to incremental feature improvements; however, entrepreneurs know these same employees can listen to their customers all day long, serve their needs and eventually destroy their company.

On a side note, I write because I feel compelled to write, often after I hear or read something that upsets me. The best entrepreneurs feel the need or pain themselves and feel compelled to provide a simple, elegant solution.

Entrepreneurs are Driven By Love, Passion and Purpose

by Robert John Stevens, September 16, 2016

Skills and experience don’t replace love, passion and purpose to solve a problem, launch a startup and bless the human race.

Although investors prefer startup founders have the technical skills required to build their own product, many startup founders do not but that doesn’t stop them from achieving success.

In Utah where I live, non programmers founded successful software companies such as Domo, Ancestry, VidAngel, Omniture and Property Solutions.

Nobody verbalized the mission of the entrepreneur more than Mormon Founder Joseph Smith:

A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.

Joseph Smith was not a priest, pastor or minister, nor did he have any formal religious training and yet he started a religion that today boasts millions of members. See the Mormon Church Statistics.

I’m not inferring you should neglect filling your bucket with knowledge; on the contrary, learn all you can and dedicate yourself to a cause in which you’ll have love, passion and purpose.

Inalienable Rights, Liberty and Freedom are on VidAngel’s Side

by Robert John Stevens, July 10, 2016

Hollywood studios once promoted the U.S. Constitution, defended liberty, championed individual rights, and elevated the common man with great films like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

In 1996 Matt Slovick of The Washington Post wrote:

But this film caused quite a stir in this town in 1939. The Washington Press Club sponsored a premiere at Constitution Hall that was attended by congressmen, Senators and Supreme Court justices. About halfway through the film, people started walking out. At another dinner, Capra was criticized for showing graft in the Senate. The Washington press corps, who didn’t like the way reporters were portrayed, joined in the attacks against Capra.1

But average Americans filled the theaters to see the film that helped make Stewart a star. The movie earned 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture (it lost to “Gone With the Wind”).

One of my favorite movies, Sergeant York (1941), taught Americans that even religious pacifists were justified to defend freedom against aggressors.

The 1965 movie Shenandoah Shenandoah reminded Americans that individual and state rights not delegated to the Federal Government were superior to usurped federal laws, even in a time of war.

But then Hollywood sold out to the globalists and have since been on the warpath to destroy the U.S. Constitution with its Bill of Rights, liberty, freedom and national sovereignty by destroying the moral foundation required to support their super structure.

By 2012, Neal Harmon, one of the smartest and most capable entrepreneurs in America today and now proven hands-on CEO, wanted to show his children some of his favorite Hollywood movies but didn’t want to introduce them to certain vulgar words and scenes in their youth.

Neal could have timed certain scenes and demanded his children close their eyes and ears while he fast-forwarded past them, exercising his moral and constitutional right to do so inside his own home but decided there must be a better way.

Having studied the secrets of YouTube from a programmer’s perspective while working at Orabrush, he realized he could create an overlay or filter on top of Hollywood videos without violating their copyright laws. Hollywood lawyers destroyed similar efforts by CleanFlicks and other companies.

After Orabrush was sold, Neal and his brothers started a company called VidAngel in Provo, Utah to stream videos that moral and ethical people wouldn’t be embarrassed to watch even if Jesus sat next to them.

Knowing the importance of abiding by laws that are constitutionally supported, Neal devised a simple, unique and legal solution: Let customers buy a video, stream it to them and then let them sell it back to VidAngel.

Leveraging crowd sourcing via Amazon Mechanical Turk, the Harmon brothers found hundreds of Americans who would gladly volunteer their time and expertise to create movie filters.

Although Hollywood won the battle declaring it illegal to physical modify movies even after they were purchased (a constitutional violation), VidAngel modifies no movies, buys them legally and stores them in their vault.

At some point in our nation’s history, Hollywood sold out to the globalist whose goal is to demoralize our free society, destroy ethics and usher in world government with them in control.

Because of the constitutional nature of VidAngel’s case, it could and should go to the Supreme Court. Despite Hollywood studio’s cunning arguments, the underlying justifications are unalienable property rights, the rights to acquire, possess and protect property, and the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions.

For VidAngel to win they must spend vast resources virally telling the public that it is their right to enjoy and defend their natural and constitutional freedoms. This is their opportunity to teach by focusing on the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and to arm the public with reaffirmations from all 50 state constitutions.

If Hollywood studios wins and government grants it illegal for the public to filter their own videos then who will enforce it? Who will enforce the right of decent parents to pause videos and fast-forward past dirty scenes? Do we really want Hollywood surveillance in our own homes?

VidAngel won’t win with similar statements used by CleanFlicks and other companies who lost.

Neal Harmon is today’s Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington)—the John Doe that represents moral and decent citizens who is being attacked by corrupt, corporate giants backed by unlimited power and money.

There is much more here at stake then just just videos: Inalienable rights, religion, the Fourth and Fifth Amendments and right for parents to protect themselves against state intrusion are all under fire.

1 ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’, By Matt Slovick Staff