Listen, Learn & Be Scrappy

The Accelerators

You want to launch a new company, but where do you start? Most entrepreneurs logically focus on product design and engineering first, but I urge you to think again and start with marketing instead. How do you start with marketing when you don't have a product yet, you ask?

"Big M" Marketing, which means listening to your customers, begins well before you've even started your company. You want to hear their needs, issues, aspirations and problems so you can make your product the best fit possible. You probably reach those customers through your own network, and the goal of this outreach is to listen and learn. What is their pain point? How are they addressing it now? Is your idea a better solution? Be customer-centric from the start.

Read more of Kate's thoughts on to effectively market your startup at The Accelerators, a WSJ blog of startup mentors discussing strategies and challenges of creating a new business.

Originally published August 5, 2013.