Here’s the simple framework for #selling your product. Memorize it for yourself.

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1. #Gather info: The basic is to ask questions & drive over the assumptions. Find out if your customer has previously used a similar kind of product before, and how they used it. ?

Research on it. Ask relevant questions. Derive meaningful insights. Do not try pull the other product down — highlight your product features for the actual problem they solve.

2. #Respond to the information above: Emphasize the importance of using the product for today / future. …

“There are so many deep-tech innovations in Silicon Valley. Why haven’t we seen such innovations yet from China, India and other countries?”

This is a common question among many members of startup community worldwide. I propose my “Layers of Innovation” theory to answer this.

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When you look at the innovation coming out of startups (especially internet startups), you can see innovation happening in 3 layers:

  • Platform innovation
  • Infrastructure innovation
  • Deep Tech Innovation

Successful platforms emerge mainly out of business model innovation while deep tech advancements are examples of technological innovation. …

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Disclaimer: I’ve borrowed the book title of Ben Horowitz for the story below as the title & the summary of the book fits apt to this narrative.

— — — —

“GOLD! GOLD! I FOUND GOLD!” shouted Francisco Lopez, a native Californian in early 1842. Francisco couldn’t believe his luck. He wanted more!

He looked around the river. “Wow! More gold!”

He moved some rocks and found even more. “There’s gold everywhere!” he jumped up and down with excitement. He became a millionaire in a few weeks.

Francisco is recognized as one of the first people to find gold in Northern California. The word spread slowly at first. Then, a few years later, a San Francisco newspaper confirmed the opportunity and the word spread like wildfire. By 1849, the news had spread around the world. An overwhelming number of gold-seekers began to arrive from every continent. The famous name “forty-niners” originated from the approximately 90,000 people who arrived in California during this year, 1849. …

There’s an old story about David Ogilvy, ‘the Father of Advertising’. One sunny morning on his way to work, Ogilvy saw a beggar with a sign around his neck:


As evidenced by his nearly empty cup, the man was not doing very well. Ogilvy explained what he did for a living, and he asked for permission to modify the sign around the man’s neck. Upon receiving consent, he took the sign and added a few words.

That night, on his way home, Ogilvy said hello to the beggar, and was pleased to see his cup overflowing. The beggar, frazzled with his success, and uncertain of what Ogilvy did to the sign, asked what words were…

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From a time when strategy was thought of as a general’s prerogative to a phase where corporates in growing America brought almost every strategic problem to the consultants who hired MBAs out of top-tier institutions like Harvard to gather & analyze datasets and come up with solutions, we have reached a phase where the traditional cash cow of big consultants has already shrunk considerably. Strategy consulting related work now contributes just around 20 % of their revenues compared to a massive 70% just a few decades ago.

Strategy, on the whole, is built from an experiment. And while productization is a mantra within most consulting houses, the reality is customization built upon rapid-iteration experiments. Making those rapid iteration cycles more effective is state of the art in digital strategy right now. …

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The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat the small anymore, it will be the fast beating the slow.

In 2004, Google was already a goliath when it comes to data. It had money, servers, network infrastructure, leadership, brand power and everything else. However, over the next decade and more they desperately watched the upstarts Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and others compete happily among themselves not even noticing Google’s presence.

Google desperately tried Google videos and then had to concede defeat and buy Youtube. They failed at Orkut, Google+, Buzz. They tried with billions in pocket, but failed to even be considered a viable competitor in that category. They had an answers tool that was the ugly, unused cousin of Quora. They had the Knol to compete with Wikipedia and you would just laugh it out. They had Wave in a clueless way that Slack just perfected. …

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How to make a slide like a consultant

When people see slides from McKinsey and BCG, they see something that is compelling and unique, but don’t really understand all the work that goes into those slides. The companies have a healthy obsession with how things look, how things are structured and how they are presented.

They also don’t understand how much work is spent on telling a compelling “story.” The biggest mistake people make in the business world is mistaking showing a lot of information versus telling a compelling story. This is an easy mistake to make — especially if you are the one that did hours of analysis. It may seem important, but when it comes down to making a slide and a presentation, you end up deleting more information rather than adding. …

By 2020 These 5 Chatbot Use Cases Will be Part of Everyday Life.

Before mobile apps made their way into the palm of your hand, and your everyday life, there was healthy skepticism that apps would ever be mainstream solutions to aid people in everything from business to gaming. Years later here we are, coming out of the “app for that” era, and it’s nearly impossible to imagine life without them.

It seems obvious but it’s important to think about how quickly apps ascended and integrated into the enterprise and consumer landscape, especially when we’re on the forefront of new technology. …

Bots have a knack of retaining knowledge and improving as they are put to greater use. They have built-in natural language processing (NLP) capabilities and are trained using machine learning techniques and knowledge collections. Just like humans evolve through learning and understanding, so do bots.

A glance into NLP and conversation design

Say something to a bot and the bot breaks down your utterance into words and phrases to understand what you mean… just like humans detect your intentions through the words used to express them.

You interact with bots to get things done — actions you want the bots to perform, tasks you want them to complete. Actions are described by verbs — fetch something. Fetch is the action verb; that ‘something’ is an object, also understood by the bot. Together, they represent the task. Simplistically, the utterance is detected for an action verb, an object and a modifier (how+what, implying… the goal is…

Who doesn’t want chatbots that can converse intelligently with customers and create an environment where they feel comfortable and keep coming back to the business.

Is it possible?

Recall that memorable scene from the award winning 2003 film, Lost in Translation, where an aging American actor, Bob Harris (played by Bill Murray), is on a set in Tokyo to shoot a whiskey commercial. The director, Yutaka Tadokoro, begins instructing Bob in Japanese, and the slapdash interpreter fails to capture the meaning — namely, it gets lost in translation. The process bogs down, and the commercial is a disaster.

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You don’t want human-to-computer interactions to end up that way, right? But one-way communications prove to be too exasperating to users. People give up on trying to get a machine understand their intentions in a few clicks and presses. There’s that missing vibe, that interactive component in any human-computer engagement; and it’s the main reason a vast majority feels they must adapt to the technologies they use, rather than technology adapting to them. …


Phani Marupaka

Product Marketing- Technology Writer - Business Development Professional - LinkedIn -

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