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May 4, 2020

As an entrepreneur and startup founder, you have to start selling your offering somewhere! For many, unless they pick the right market and the right people to engage with, they won't be able to generate the traction needed to either attract outside capital or produce it on their own to finance their startup's growth.

Hence, selecting the first market to attack is critical and how the entrepreneur approaches the selection of this market will determine whether their startup gets off the ground or crashes and burns before it even gets started.

In today's Exponential Podcast, we will address what makes a good first market to attack with Troy Thibodeau a highly experienced tech CMO as we talk through MESA's (  newest Framework for startups. Identifying a First Market Segment to Attack for Pre-revenue and Early Revenue Companies. The framework is a set of seven precepts developed by the MESA organization along with the Exponential Group ( to help startup founders better identify which market to go after first.

This podcast is produced by the Exponential Group in association with the MESA Group.

Associated blog post: A Framework for startups: Identifying a First Market Segment to Attack for Pre-revenue and Early Revenue Companies

Key framework points:

  1. Identify a segment which will be quickest to embrace your offering.
  2. Understand that this process is about identifying a market segment not about conquering the broad market.
  3. Find a problem that needs solving now and understand the need deeply from the customer's perspective.
  4. The decision-makers must be easy to identify and reach, have the authority to make the decision now, and have the money to spend now.
  5. There must be a significant number of entities within the identified segment.
  6. Find market segments where there is crosstalk between buyers as these buyers can be your least expensive and best "salespeople."
  7. Don't let price be a barrier. Be flexible on pricing.