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Great articles roundup: Lean methodologies, story-centred design, real-time marketing, value proposition, pitching editors

By Daylin Mantyka

link2 300x240 Great articles roundup: Brand differentiation, intrapreneurs, startup pitch, startupsAs a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are Ash Maurya: Practice Trumps Theory, GigaOm, Fast Company, Marketing Sherpa Blog and Social Media Explorer.

Your business model is a system and why you should care

Ash Maurya talks about the roots of lean development and why understanding where the concept came from is important for successfully finding that sweet spot in product-market fit.

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What an entrepreneur can learn from a literary conference: Part II

By Leo Valiquette

I’ve blogged before about my ambitions to become a fabulously successful novelist and my annual April trek to Toronto to attend the Ad Astra literary conference. Having just returned from the 2013 edition, here are my latest observations that apply as much to entrepreneurs as they do to authors.

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‘You can’t cross a canyon in two leaps’

By Francis Moran

Canada lost one of its most populist and colourful political characters last week when former Alberta premier and Calgary mayor Ralph Klein died. There are a number of marketing lessons, both salutary and otherwise, to be drawn from the exploits of this seemingly simple man whose shoot-from-the-lip approach and unrivalled common touch made him an object of both admiration and scorn.

However, today I’m going to riff on just one of his more quotable quotes because it applies so very well to the doomed approach too many technology companies take with their belief that market traction and sustainable revenue growth can be achieved through a series of low-cost incremental steps.

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Do you know what your customer actually wants?

By Maurice Smith

I once spent a fortnight in Silicon Valley being trained in strategic planning. It was a fantastic experience. We spent the first week in groups trying to invent new products and industries, a motley crew of scientists, financiers and creatives.

In the midst of the workshops, a very opinionated participant from Miami told us – not once, but twice – that there were many modern technical inventions that no one had ever asked for – the minivan and the fax machine for starters.

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Why I like customer advisory boards

By Jesse Rodgers

Seeking out customer feedback and using it to build a great product is not a new concept. Great designers have been doing it for a long time as have great companies. The Lean Startup manual (or startup bible to many) talks about involving the customer while developing that minimum viable product (MVP): “The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.

Where that generally leads people is straight to building a simple application that might not be sexy in its design but it is functional or a landing page about a new product that might not exist yet. Using Google Analytics and collecting email addresses along with some “conversion” points becomes what you focus on. However, if you forget to actually talk to customers as well you could be wasting a lot of time. Especially when you are moving past your MVP or have a product that people are paying for.

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Recent Comments

  • Francis Moran : I'm so glad to see you warming to this idea, Luc. Not that you were ever one of those mindless critics who automatically opposed the proposal; you were properly skeptical and demanding that it contain more of what folks like you and I believed was necessary for success. Looks like the city is listening.

  • Luc Lalande : Hi Francis, thank you for the steady and keen eye on the development of this important project for the City. I share your view that open spaces in the building’s design will be critical components for encouraging spontaneous interactions between people. Integrating such spaces in the Innovation Complex sends the right signals to the community-at-large and not just the local startup ecosystem: everyone is welcomed! With respect to Patti’s comments about the arts sector, it would be worth bringing back to light that the Hintonburg-Mechanicsville area has emerged as the first Arts District in the City of Ottawa, housing many artist studios, performing arts studios, and media groups. While the 7 Bayview located Innovation Complex may cater to the entrepreneurial set, there is still considerable property on these lands that could, one day, be developed and capitalize on the area’s sizable artistic community. But perhaps the open spaces at the Innovation Complex can be equally accommodating for anyone who embraces creativity and entrepreneurship: artists and innovators alike.

  • How can we foster culture of entrepreneurship? | Waterloo Innovation Summit : [...] Velocity also provides hands-on workshops for anyone at the University to learn about becoming a successful entrepreneur, and awards over $300,000 per year through the Velocity Fund to promising early startups, to help launch their success financially. We keep finding really good problems that are worthy of solving and that we think we’d be good at solving. - Mike Kirkup, Director of Velocity and Student Innovation Waterloo’s Velocity accelerator is 5, and growing fast [...]

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