No Good Picking up speed if you're on the wrong road.

Derek A. Lackey
We have seen many a start-up recognize what they believe to be a need in the market place, think it through rigorously with their team, build the solution to the problem they defined only to get their hat handed to them by their desired marketplace. It is arrogant to base all go to market assumptions on one point of view.   We say one point of view because we all know your staff will jump off a cliff if you tell them to. Especially if you tell them how it will help the start up... read more

Start-ups and Hired Professionals

Derek A. Lackey
Most start-ups think professionals like lawyers, accountants, business counsel and communications professionals are a "nice-to-have" but often feel they don’t have the budget to engage them.  Alyssa Richard, CEO and Founder of put it this way: " If you think professionals are too expensive to hire, just wait until you find out how expensive it was not to hire them".

In the early days Alyssa thought they were a "nice to have" and saved the money. She used boilerplate... read more

Is A Product Ever Fully Baked?

Derek A. Lackey
We always do the very best with what we have - right now.

If new insights are revealed or changes in the market affect a product we already have out there, it is our responsibility to continuously improve those offerings. Our inside look at hundreds of businesses suggests this often happens more by chance than by design.

We are suggesting these improvements always be by design and re-visited often. Without specific processes designed to address this, it is unlikely to happen on a regular... read more

Start-Ups: What It Takes To Win

Derek A. Lackey
Most successful start-ups have a few key elements in common.  Without them a start up will not likely be anything more than a lifestyle business - one that provides the owner a decent lifestyle. By definition a lifestyle business is not a start-up.

What do we mean by ‘start-up’? It is a business built to grow exponentially. Many business ideas require capital to grow, but some will scale, growing quickly with small changes to the process, via the internet. For our purposes... read more

Chief Executive Officer or Chief Evangelist Officer?

Derek A. Lackey
Start-ups are often perceived as "the little guys with a big vision". They usually discover how a process or product can be made better, cheaper, faster or some variation on this. They craft a logical story around their vision and begin telling anybody who will listen, often tweaking the story as they go.

So once the essence of your story is put together, how do you sell your idea to specific audiences? Do you hire a proven sales professional who's job it is to call on targeted companies,... read more

We'd Be Screwed If...

Derek A. Lackey
One of the difficult parts of being the fearless leader about to lead his/her troops through the complex world of a start up, is maintaining your unwavering commitment to the core concept while remaining truly objective about it.

We often lose perspective, actually "drinking our own Kool-aid".  In other words we come to believe the pitch and all of the CRITICAL ASSUMPTIONS without questioning them as people with a fresh perspective might. Do you simply blow them off with thoughts like... read more

Selling Left-Handed Monkey Wrenches to Left-Handed Plumbers

Derek A. Lackey
Co-founder of Hub Spot, Dharmesh Shah says, the internet is great at connecting makers of left-handed monkey wrenches with left-handed plumbers around the world. But the makers of left-handed monkey wrenches must:

1. be very clear that they make left-handed monkeys wrenches

not tell everyone about their full line of wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers and saws

talk directly to left-handed plumbers and not be tempted to include right-handed plumbers, general contractors,... read more

Branding B2B | Important?

Derek A. Lackey
Many brands become a brand by chance rather than design. This article - "How B2B companies talk past their customers" - from McKinsey Quarterly underscores the current B2B branding landscape and it isn't pretty. The main difference between B2C branding and B2B branding is resources. B2C see branding as their key success driver. They understand the importance of creating the right perceptions with their targeted consumer. They know it is not a luxury, it is a neccessity. So of course they invest... read more

Educated Persistence vs Delusional Persistence

Derek A. Lackey
One of the downsides of the World Wide Web has been free access to a great deal of information about a great deal of topics. We all know enough to be dangerous about a lot of subjects. Maybe true depth of understanding an industry or a sector can only be gained by working in that industry for a reasonable period of time.

Entrepreneurs often require unusually high levels of persistence - often perceived as "entrepreneurial stubbornness" - in order to bring their vision to the world. Steve... read more


Derek A. Lackey

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Robert H. Lane

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Effective Go to Market Strategies For Start Ups

9 out 10 start ups do not survive. One of the primary reasons is: their target audience does not know what the offer is and why they need it in their lives.

All too often a start up has a great idea, well executed. Then the challenge of clearly describing the offering in a way that connects and moves your audience to action. In this book Derek A. Lackey and Robert H.Lane address the key issues and help you think your way through this challenging stage. Many start ups find themselves having to do this several times due to pivots driven by the market feedback. This is a muscle every start up needs to build in order to be successful in this busy marketplace.