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Marketing --
Finding Out What the 
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(and will pay for)

Editor's Column, MIT Enterprise Forum Reporter
By James L. Woodward


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Please welcome another guest author to this web site, Jim Woodward. 

I have known Jim for nearly the entire twenty-plus year history of the MIT Enterprise Forum, save only for three years when Jim and his wife sailed their boat around the world.  I have admired his healthy skepticism, and have appreciated his personal coaching.  Two of Jim's recurrent themes stick in my mind, from his advice to MIT Enterprise Forum presenters.

#1,The Chinese Glove Syndrome

A presenter will paint a picture of a huge market, claiming that they will become a large company if only they take 1% of the opportunity.  The allegory is that there are two and a half Billion Chinese in China, making a market for five Billion gloves.  Jim points to the reality for the presenter to cultivate a realistic plan that would enable their company to penetrate ANY Chinese glove market, and to develop a defensible, dominant market posture.

#2, The Huge Profit in Year 3-5 Hockey Stick

A presenter shows financial projections of a massive profit, presumably available for distribution to the investors, in year 3 or 4 or 5 as their company sales ramp up the "hockey stick."  Jim describes the certainty that a decent Marketing chief will properly invest such funds to accelerate the company growth, with programs for increased market penetration and new product development.

Ralph Grabowski


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