For startups jockeying for position in nascent markets, pressure is intense to come up with a viable business plan before running out of money. Unlike mature industries, nascent markets offer little certainty and plenty of ambiguity—undefined customers, unclear products or features, uncertain customer demand, and even an ill defined set of competitors.
Yet, for these startups to have the most success, they need to keep their eyes on a prize bigger than just creating the market. They need to epitomize the market.
“ The goal is not only to make sure that the product category takes off, but to become the firm that comes to define it —Google and Internet search, Starbucks and coffee, YouTube and video sharing,” McDonald says. “In some cases, the names of these companies are so inextricably linked to the actual product category itself that it becomes like a verb. We ‘Google’ it.”
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