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...Without a patent, any product in the marketplace that enjoys some level of success will draw a host of imitators. The consequences can be severe, as without differentiation, there will be pressure on prices and margins, along with challenges in customer retention. Ultimately, this can lead to the downward spiral of price wars and bankruptcies. One approach that has the potential to differentiate any start-up’s offering—even in the face of imitators—is to recognize that product purchase is just one part of a larger customer journey. In other words, when a customer buys a particular product, there would have been a series of actions by the customer “before” the actual purchase, and there will be a set of actions by the customer “after” the purchase. ...Live Mint on Nov. 28, 2016, 12:10 a.m.
...They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” Jobs’ comment has been recounted by many over the years, to emphasize the fact that ideas are cheap, and what really matters is execution. More significantly, it underscores the fact that entrepreneurial ideas are abundant and commonplace, but entrepreneurs who can execute the ideas in the face of difficult odds are few and uncommon. As such, the smart money should be on the entrepreneur, rather than the idea. Bet on the jockey, not the horse. Decades ago, Harvard University’s William Sahlman wrote about this issue, emphasizing that the entrepreneur and the start-up team is more relevant than the business idea. “When I receive a business plan, I always read the résumé section first,” he said. According to him, without the right team, none of the other elements of the start-up matter. Famed venture capitalist Arthur Rock, whose investments include Apple and Intel, had similar sentiments: “I invest in people, not ideas”. ...Live Mint on Oct. 17, 2016, 12:11 a.m.