Marketing expert John Jantsch, creator of Duct Tape Marketing, posted this list today on the American Express OPEN forum. He introduces it by recognizing that it’s not necessarily that big idea you’ve been waiting for that makes the startup successful. He offers these five factors:

  1. The owner is the customer. Meaning that you make a product or service that you want to use. Jantsch says: “You can acquire some measure of knowledge from various research techniques, but nothing beats living, breathing and feeling the same things your prospects do.”
  2. The market understands the offering. He mentions this problem: “If your innovation simply solves an incredible problem people don’t yet know they have, you may wind up burning through the money before they get it.”
  3. The market already spends money here. John says: “If people are already spending money on a product or service, then two-thirds of your work is done.”
  4. It’s an innovation that simplifies. Amen to that.
  5. Nothing is precious. This is a tough one. “If you’re in love with your bright, shiny, baby startup and all that it offers, you may become blind to the reality the market suggests.” Keep an open mind, Jantsch says, “talk to your customers, talk to your competitors, talk to your employees and remember nothing is precious but what the numbers prove to be so.”

Here’s the link: 5 Attributes of a Sure Fire Startup: Marketing: Idea Hub: American Express OPEN Forum

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.