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Five Roles of Startup: Sales
Salespeople, Marketing, Business Development, Public Relations
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The five roles I'm discussing in this series are general, but intended to identify everyone inside and outside the startup's organization. You must have someone playing all five roles, and in the early days, two or more of these roles are probably going to be played by the same person.

So far we've covered the two roles in startup that focus on turning a great idea into a great product. The Vision people are your leaders, your explainers, your decision-makers, while the Build role defines the team that makes the product.

But even when your startup has built the most awesome product ever, someone has to actually get out there and sell it. And no matter how amazing your offering is, this is not an easy job.

Sales is the role that pushes your product into the hands of paying customers, but this means much more than exchanging money for goods or services. In fact, for most startups, sales is where the grand plans break down, because too few entrepreneurs understand the sales process, and even fewer put a priority on the Sales role.

A common misconception in startup is that once the product is built, the customers will come knocking at your physical and/or digital door, wallets open, ready to purchase. But the famous phrase "Build it and they will come," was never true, regardless of what you've seen in the movies. "Viral sales" is also a myth, in the sense that you have roughly the same odds of creating a viral smash hit as you do of winning the lottery.

Sales must devise a strategy, or a series of strategies really, for reaching your market, educating them, persuading them, negotiating with them, closing the deal, and retaining them. Then all of these events must happen in the shortest possible time frame at a perpetually lower cost, all while figuring out how to get existing customers to buy more product more often.

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Why Do We Make Startup So Damn Boring?
The Show - Episode 1.3
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That time we talked about sucking all the fun out of startup, keeping people out of the club, and Joe's cut-rate accelerator idea.

Startup can be like a club where the people who are behind the velvet rope keep talking about how much it sucks in order to keep people from wanting to get in. It shouldn't be like that. We should keep preaching about how awesome being an entrepreneur is.

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THE SHOW: Why You Shouldn't Chase Venture Capital
Episode 3.4: The Last One With Thad Lewis
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In our final episode with special guest Thad Lewis, we talk about sales and we talk about funding, the way they're related, and how they're different. Thad Lewis is an NFL quarterback, and in that, he's got a couple of things working in his favor that the average entrepreneur does not, namely, connections and money. But this doesn't necessarily give him a leg up.

We talk about Venture Capital. Thad doesn't need it. Thad doesn't want it. But he could get it, and he can also get money from other sources (friends, the bank, etc.) Outside funding should be the last thing on the entrepreneur's mind until they absolutely know they need it, so we talk about that here.

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VIDEO: How To Get Noticed
Teaching Startup: The Show - Episode 2.3
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Getting noticed in startup is all about building relationships -- with your investors, with your customers, and with your potential investors and customers. Cultivating these relationships is one of the most important jobs for every founder, and it's a shame that a lot of entrepreneurs don't do it right.

WedPics co-founder Justin Miller is an entrepreneur you should try to be like, and not just because Jon Colgan and everyone he's ever met has said so. In this episode, Justin details how he establishes and maintains those relationships, and why they're so important. Getting noticed is about the long game, the slow burn, and there's rarely such a thing as overnight success.

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VIDEO: How To Market a Startup - Episode 2.1
Teaching Startup: The Show
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I met WedPics co-founder Justin Miller about 10 years ago when he came up with the idea to establish a music festival as a marketing event for his photo-sharing startup DejaMi. You heard me. A music festival. Bands, venues, tickets, the works. I immediately fell in love with the idea for its boldness and its batbleep insanity.

Entrepreneurs are usually terrible at marketing, especially first-time entrepreneurs. And that's the core of this episode -- How To Market Your Startup -- where we dig into offline vs. online marketing tactics and how one must complement the other in order to see any success out of either.

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Tatiana Battles the Big Boys
The Startup Show: Episode 6.6
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In Episode 6.6 of The Startup Show, Joe Procopio (Automated Insights, ExitEvent), Jon Colgan (Veeto, Cellbreaker), and Andy Roth (RocketBolt) discuss the challenges of starting up a retail product, in this case, Mati Energy, with founder and CEO Tatiana Birgisson. The beverage industry is home to some entrenched, deep-pocketed (sometimes evil) corporations, and the plucky startup has to be more than just unique and hardworking to survive in that environment.

There's almost always an element of luck involved.

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Five Stages of Startup



Five Roles of Startup



Five Kinds of Startup



Five Funding Sources



Five Reasons for Startup