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Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation Paperback – June 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: NISI Institute (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983723605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983723608
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nail It then Scale It ranks up there with game changing classics like Porter's Competitive Advantage, McKenna's Relationship Marketing, and Moore's Crossing the Chasm. Nail It then Scale It is based on real-world experience that is validated by many millions of dollars of investment in entrepreneurial startups. The Nail It then Scale It process underscores that the seeds to entrepreneurial success are sown before you build anything.

Nail the customers' pain.
Nail the solution customers are willing to pay for.
Avoid the traps of conventional wisdom that lead most entrepreneurs to failure.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Why Believing in Your Product Leads to Failure. "All too often, entrepreneurs fall in love with their product or technology, they ignore negative feedback from customers, and they spend years building a product based on a vision that no one else shares."

Why Having too Much Money Leads to Failure. "Money allowed the entrepreneurs to execute their flawed business plan rather than to stay laser focused on the market so that they could find the facts about what customers wanted and adjust accordingly."

Where Do Winning Innovations Come From? "The key difference... is not to just ask customers what they want but to deeply understand the customers--their motivations, their needs, and most important, the job they are trying to get done... Thomas Edison stated that `I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it'."

As Ahlstrom points out, commitment of money is a very powerful validation. "The price your customers are willing to pay is the measure of the degree to which you have nailed the solution."

Fail Fast and Learn to Change.
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Format: Paperback
Since 1995 I succeeded in creating two software startups without funding and failed in others. For the past several years I've read programming books hoping to find a technical edge, and entrepreneurial books to determine what I did wrong and what I must do to get it right the next time.

I concluded that more programming is pointless until I find the right idea and validate my business model, but the entire process wasn't clear to me.

Then I read, Nail It then Scale It. Complimentary to the book Boom Start, it is the best entrepreneurial book I've ever read. Within the first twenty pages I recognized my previous mistakes. Now I better understand the entire process of innovation, identifying deep customer pain, testing and validating solution hypotheses.

This book teaches the innovation and validation process from start to finish. By applying its best practices, l have the confidence I need to build the next big thing--one that delivers a simple, elegant solution that customers' want.

Five stars--I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Building products that people want is hard and costs lots of money (mostly because we miss the mark the first, and second, and third time around before we get it right). I read Nail It Then Scale It and it immediately resonated. As an entrepreneur I find myself constantly in product development mode. The steps outlined in the book cut time (50%+) and cost (80%+) out of our product development cycle. Nail It Then Scale It doesn't dance around theory, it dives right into the nuts and bolts of identifying need, and the step-by-step process of building a great product that will sell the moment it ships. Good entrepreneurs have solid product intuition - great entrepreneurs will follow Nail It Then Scale It and find out how to nail it the first time around. Great read - strongly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
There are several books and methodologies around this common and critical theme for startups: how to reduce market-related mortality rates among IT-based startups, and how to maximize their potential.

Some methodologies focus more on the customer (Customer Development by Steve Blank), others on the product development (Lean Startup by Eric Ries), another on the business model (Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder).

"Nail it, then Scale It" provides a summary of basically all the current theories, but in an interconnected, coherent, well-balanced, AND PRACTICAL MANNER, as well as proposing additional concepts that fill the gaps of other authors.

I strongly believe this book should be the first reading of anybody interested in modern startup incubation theories due to its broad coverage, practicality and easy-reading format, and then you could go deeper with more theme-specific books, such as "Four Steps to Epiphany", "Lean Startup", "Business Model Generation", etc.
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A fine idea. In fact it is a brilliant idea. However, the book has far too many typos and mistakes. I feel as though I am reading an unfinished, unedited copy. The Nail it then Scale it! Can be broke down into five phases:

-Nail the pain. Great businesses begin with a customer problem that has a big and monetizable pain point. Avoid the three big mistakes: guessing but not testing the pain on real customers; selecting a low customer pain threshold (the solution is only nice to have, not must have); or selecting a too-narrow customer pain (small number of customers willing or able to pay).

-Nail the solution. Neither breakthrough technology nor maximum features will assure that "if we build it, they will come." NISI recommends starting with the minimum focused set of features and technology that will drive a customer purchase. Success demands testing the solution early and quickly in the market, then iterating to get it right, in the same way advocated in the lean start-up model.

-Nail the go-to-market strategy. In parallel with nailing the solution, you need an in-depth understanding of your target customer's buying process, their job demands, the market infrastructure, and a good group of serious pilot customers. Do real tests with real pricing to see if customers will pay you.

-Nail the business model. Leverage your customer conversations to predict and validate your business model. For example, when you think about distribution channels, revenue streams, or the relationship with the customer, ask customers what they expect. Don't forget a viable financial model of costs, margins, customer acquisition, and break-even.

-Scale it. Don't attempt to scale it until you have a proven, repeatable business model that predictably generates revenue.
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