Grow and Thrive: Three Startup Learnings, Part Two



Last week I reviewed the twists and turns along our journey to create a breakthrough product (click here to read).

Startup Learning #1 - The product will be different than you thought. If you keep at it, it will be better than you ever imagined!


This week it’s Startup Learning #2 – Strive to be different and be able to communicate why different matters.

Leadership development. What can be exciting about a category that’s $366B globally and been around FOREVER! It’s all been done, right?


From the very beginning, our team realized we had a different view of leadership than those in the industry. James Kelley, Ph.D. with his background and research in consumer psychology, John Howes, Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology, and my “school of hard knocks” approach coalesced in a “there has got to be a better way” thinking. We knew it, and we felt it.

We became really excited when we realized that corporate CEOs think 90¢ of every dollar spent is wasted. But how do you break through in an established industry?

Step #1 – Define a new category

I’m not the marketing genius of the group. My grammar skills are solid and I can spell, so I’ve got that going for me. As for true marketing innovation, James is our guy. His plan; create a new product category called Leader Experience. Play to our strengths; personalized, real-time, measurable. Operate where the leader is, keep them working and add learning to their environment. Define a much higher standard than what’s currently available in the market.

Step 2 – Define a new market