I first met David Mandell while in NYC during the whirlwind recruiting tour for the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator. We had a relatively short conversation before jumping on stage for a panel discussion. David’s balanced personality as a warm/friendly listener and honest/straightforward communicator is remarkable, something that serves him well as an entrepreneurial leader. When I saw him walk into the Sprint Accelerator this afternoon, I knew our teams were in for a treat.
Shortly after the mentoring sessions concluded for the day, David jumped up on stage to give his story as a Techstars Alum. He covered a number of topics but I was excited to hear him address the topic of focus. Startups (and for that matter, just about any early stage product/idea) often fail not because of a lack of talent or customer demand but because they can’t stay focused on basic marketing strategy.
Brand and marketing (not to be confused with advertising) are often overlooked or considered way too late in the game. David shared a fairly simple template can keep your team focused and executing on the right things for your business:
When read out-loud, this marketing template should sound a lot like a pitch…and it did when David filled in the blanks with details from his company Pivotdesk. As you dig into that statement, it clearly states the vision of the company including who to target, the problem you’re solving, who you’re competing against and how you continue to differentiate.
Put simply…with limited resources, focus is critical. Make sure the priorities of your company match your pitch.