Strategic Product Positioning
Strategic product positioning is specifically relevant for technology startups. We all know the stories of tech startups, acquired by tech giants for millions or even billions.
Strategic positioning of your product or company is very related to the exit strategy. Designing and executing an Exit can increase the entire value of the business because it forces the founders to focus on the longer term and the company's purpose.
This focus will make it easier to convince potential investors, employees and customers to provide resources for the startup. Without these resources, there will be no growth.
Universities and institutes work years on new technologies but they need the industry to convert these into valuable products for the market. In many cases, a great product is the result of the combination of several technologies.
Once the commercialization potential of the technology is assessed, we can start positioning the technology to technology companies in relevant markets. This can only be successful when we have a relatively good insight in the future product roadmaps of those companies.
However, there is a lot of work to do before the technology can be positioned as a product or solution in the market. The process from technology to a marketable product usually involves continued product development (prototyping), customer development (getting in touch with the first potential customers, usually innovators and early adopters) and the creation of a company (making sure that a legal entity is created, a plan to produce the product (preferably automated and scalable) and the business foundations are there.
Creating the business foundations is a challenge because it forces us to think about the value propositions before the product/market fit. But this exercise is interesting to align the vision and write a joint mission statement.
After being successful acquiring the first customers, we can start reaching out by positioning the new product or technology to potential partners. And it should be a perfect fit for their (future) product portfolio.
A strategic exit is only one of the potential scenario's for a technology startup. But if your product has potential (it's a must-have product which is well positioned and protected) and the timing is good, it should be designed and executed.