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Put yourself in the place of your prospective customer. Now, ask yourself a series of questions:

  • With the range of choices already available to me, would I buy the new product or service this company is offering?

  • If so, why?

  • As a prospective buyer, am I unique, or are there many people like me?

  • Would I buy the product or service at the full price that is presently planned?

  • How quickly and easily would I buy the service? Would I buy it immediately, or would I require a fair amount of education about this new offering? Then, stepping back into the entrepreneurial role, ask: Do the current plans for the business allow for the appropriate amount of time and effort?

From here, you must go on to gather actual market experience with live potential customers.


Whenever someone says, “This is a huge market and we need to capture only one percent of it to succeed,” it’s time to turn around and run for the hills. Avoid this trap at all costs! Success demands that your business be distinctive and dominate something. It’s far better to be the large fish in a smaller pond than one fish in a giant ocean.

At the height of the dot-com boom, online calendar companies were perceived as valuable. The notion was that lots of people were going to keep their schedules online and that whoever controlled this entry point would have loyal customers. Then the company could charge either for the service itself or for different products and services to these loyal users.

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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.