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Entrepreneur Journeys v.3: Positioning: How To Test, Validate, And Bring Your Idea To Market Paperback – September 8, 2009


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Entrepreneur Journeys v.3: Positioning: How To Test, Validate, And Bring Your Idea To Market + Entrepreneur Journeys: Bootstrapping: Weapon Of Mass Reconstruction + Entrepreneur Journeys Volume 1
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439245924
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439245927
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #905,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

“There is no better person to write a book on positioning.  In this new series, Sramana Mitra lays out the requirements for positioning and uses real world people and companies to illustrate her points.  She is a no nonsense leader in our industry that must be listened to.” 

Mark B. Hoffman, Chairman and CEO, Enquisite; Founder CEO, Sybase; CEO, CommerceOne

 

“Sramana, in her book Positioning: How To Test, Validate, And Bring Your Ideas To Market, provides the critical case studies that highlight how entrepreneurs should continually self-evaluate and refine their ideas.  It’s a great reference.”

Gus Tai, General Partner, Trinity Ventures

 

In the third book in her Entrepreneur Journeys series, Positioning: How To Test, Validate, And Bring Your Ideas To Market, Sramana Mitra offers a close look at the process of sculpting your idea into a sharply defined “go to market” strategy.

 

Clarity, Mitra confirms, is the ultimate tool in building a successful business. But such clarity cannot be purchased or assumed – it requires asking the right questions. Mitra showcases case study after case study of successful entrepreneurs who have answered these questions, analyzed their markets, and defined their value propositions through differentiation, competitive analysis, market sizing, and, among other core elements of a compelling strategic marketing plan, segmentation. The process she takes her readers through is akin to the grilling venture capitalists typically put entrepreneurs through. A grueling test to any business idea, Mitra’s book stimulates a due diligence exercise, which no matter if you are bootstrapping or raising venture capital, you must put yourself through to avoid wasting precious years and scarce resources.

About the Author

Sramana Mitra is a technology entrepreneur and strategy consultant in Silicon Valley. She has founded three companies, writes a weekly column for Forbes and the business blog Sramana Mitra on Strategy. She has a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.

"Mitra's magic makes Positioning more than a go-to guide-it's a trailblazing arrow aimed at the untapped potential of Web 3.0. The author suggests that old-guard holdouts rouse themselves out of the dark ages and into the new, free-market model. According to the book, capitalism is alive and thriving for those with vertical vision. Mitra also provides a query list/appendix to help fledglings find flaws in their plans.... This is required reading for anyone contemplating a start-up. An expansive business view from leading entrepreneurs."
- Kirkus Discoveries

Online Roundtables for Entrepreneurs:
Sramana Mitra offers a series of free online roundtables to mentor and help entrepreneurs further develop their business ideas. In these roundtables, she also addresses financing strategy for each business.

During each 60-minute online session, entrepreneurs are invited to pitch Sramana their ideas in a three-minute presentation. She reviews the material in real time and provides feedback on each pitch, as well as addresses specific questions from the entrepreneur. Afterward, she takes questions from other participants. Each session is open to 1,000 people but only the first five to sign up have the opportunity to pitch Sramana and discuss their business in an interactive mode.

You can find more information about these webinars, recordings of past roundtables and registration links to upcoming sessions on the Roundtables page of her blog, "Sramana Mitra On Strategy" .

"Many start-up companies dissipate precious energy and capital without ever reaching a point of clear market traction. Too often, their failure stems from their inability to operationalize their vision into a compelling value proposition targeted at clearly defined customer segments. Sramana Mitra's book Positioning: How To Test, Validate, And Bring Your Idea To Market combines personalized vignettes of passionate entrepreneurs who, through trial, errors and sheer determination, have managed to integrate this important lesson across the defining dimensions of the emerging Web 3.0 environment. Aspiring entrepreneurs and experienced venture capitalists alike will benefit from this compilation of focused interviews and will want to test their own enterprises against the scrutiny of Sramana's probing questions."
- Eric Benhamou, Chairman 3Com; former CEO, 3Com & Palm; CEO, Benhamou Global Ventures

"At the beginning of 2009, I found myself without a VP of Marketing in a young start-up company and a new product coming out of the door that would radically change the positioning of the company. I had been introduced to Sramana by a VC who said, "you have to meet this great lady just to know her." I contacted her to help me redo the positioning of the company. She did an excellent job in a short period of time using her crisp methodology that has now positioned the company for success. There is no better person to write a book on positioning. In this new series, she lays out the requirements for positioning and uses real world people and companies to illustrate her points. She is a no nonsense leader in our industry that must be listened to."
- Mark B. Hoffman, Chairman and CEO, Enquisite; Founder CEO, Sybase; CEO, CommerceOne

"Too many entrepreneurs allow their passion to drive them to take action rather than to distill their wisdom. This leads many to jump right into building out generic business functions and pursuing generic strategies. What I've seen over the years is that the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones that pause to deeply understand what market potential they exactly want to unleash. They then set out and test and evolve. Sramana, in her book Positioning: How To Test, Validate, And Bring Your Ideas To Market, provides the critical case studies that highlight how entrepreneurs should continually self-evaluate and refine their ideas. It's a great reference."
- Gus Tai, General Partner, Trinity Ventures


Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Daffy Du VINE VOICE on November 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this book for my significant other, who started a business developing products for the renewable energy market a little over a year ago. While he's brilliant technically, marketing isn't his strength. He was quite keen to read the book, since he has essentially completed R&D for his first product and has been somewhat in the dark about what to do next.

Alas, instead of the step-by-step guide he was expecting, he found this book was little more than a series of anecdotes about the author's friends. The common theme was "I did X, and then I got lucky," which wasn't exactly helpful for a small business owner struggling to make a go of it in the worst economy in 70 years. He was also disappointed that virtually everything was about Web 3.0, with no real theoretical or practical foundation with application to other industries.

Judging from the other reviews, others have found the book helpful, but for him it was far too thin on actual content to be helpful when he was hungry for some real substance and guidance. His search continues for a useful book on bringing products to market.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Cole on September 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Sramana's book on positioning is written in a similar format as the first two; she interviews successful entrepreneurs to demonstrate to support her conclusions. Volume three is exceptionally interesting as it highlights a subject that is often overlooked by many entrepreneurs. The key take away from the book is that the market and your company's positioning in that market is just as important as the product offering. The book expresses the importance of fulfilling a customer need to identify the value proposition and by whom the value will be coveted most.
I think the book should be read by all aspiring entrepreneurs. She does a fantastic job of demonstrating ways successful startups exploit niches in the market through tackling highly segmented customer base. In the book Sramana highlights Kosmix, an internet search company that has positioned itself to compete against a number of smaller players avoided competing directly with the big guys like Google. Her interviews not only convey successful stories but also force you to think out of the box about your own business ideas. One of the most effective parts is the appendix of the book as it provides a list of questions to identify and test the total available market (TAM) of your offering. As she goes on to explain the by identifying the TAM the entrepreneur will increase the likelihood of succeeding.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Saad Fazil on September 11, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
I rarely read a book in one setting, but Sramana's book is unlike any other books. Rather than putting out a lot of theoretical content, she has presented real life interviews and cases, which make the book like a story. Different verticals she covered include cloud computing, content, collaboration, and web 3.0 and there are several case studies in each section. It gave me a very good idea of who are some of the players in those verticals and how they are providing solutions and targeting their customers differently. I enjoyed reading several entrepreneurs stories, and in the process also learned a lot about positioning and marketing in general, and certain sectors in specific. In every chapter she analyzes the interviews in a few pages - concise and crisp.

Great read for any would be entrepreneurs, anyone interested in these sectors, or anyone who would want to learn more about positioning.
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Format: Paperback
I liked this book very much. In its appendix the following questions are listed regarding competitive positioning and pricing:

>>Who is the competition, and how do you differentiate from them?
>>What are the various classes of products in immediate and related categories?
>>Which, of those, compete directly with you?
>>Which ones are likely to move into your space?
>>How do your product features compare with the competition's? Can you compete on the basis of functionality?
>>How does your product pricing compare with the competition's? Can you compete on the basis of price?
>>How do customers and prospects view your offering, vis-à-vis competition? Do they see you as one-tenth the functionality? One-fifth the functionality? 300% the functionality?
>>What value does the customer see?
>>What are the customers willing to pay for your solution? One-tenth the key competitor's price? Same price? 200% the price?
>>What price can you charge based on perceived value?
>>What is the ROI for the customer? How long will it take to realize the ROI?
>>Can you offer both better performance and lower price?
>>Whom do you need to partner with to offer a full solution?
>>How do you position win-win deals for partners?
>>Can you turn some of the competition to partners/channel/OEM relationships, so as not to go head-to-head?

After reading these questions you should have a pretty good idea as to what this book is about. There is such a thing as Total Available Market ("TAM"). And the subject of this book , i.e., Positioning, is all about being able to segment the TAM your company wants to operate in and be able to identify a well-defined market opportunity involving one or more segments therein.
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More About the Author

Sramana Mitra is the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) global, virtual incubator that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond.

She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, she writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. From 2008 to 2010, Sramana was a columnist for Forbes, and currently syndicates to numerous venues including Harvard Business Review and Huffington Post.

As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. She has a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

On Social Media:

Twitter: @sramana
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/sramana
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sramana.mitra

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