機構及學校版
Organization & School Edition

The Blue Horizon VPGPP Framework
  • 作者:Steven H. Lee
  • 出版社:Simminchu Publishing Company Limited
  • 出版日期:2018-03-01

簡介

Since 2011, I have been working with entrepreneurs, and have found an increasing number of startup companies struggling to survive. Many of these companies either have promising technologies or very innovative ideas, but sadly, these companies are struggling and many don’t really know how to get out of their current predicament. Making things worst is that there is now almost too much entrepreneurship training, courses, workshops and lectures that in my experience only creates more confusion. It’s sort of like today there is a course on algebra, tomorrow there is one on trigonometry, and then there is one on calculus. All of these are important and valuable, but without some kind of a framework or structure, these elements will add to the sea of information that entrepreneurs cannot mentally file away and use. This is the motivation for this book.

The framework starts with the purpose of any company. We can say that companies are to create or deliver value to society, while these are all very correct, but I would rather say that “companies need to have revenue.” That’s because, without revenue, the company will die. Using this very simple lens, I can develop a coherent framework to answer the simple question of “What does it take for a startup product to be successful in the market.” Technology is great and important, but it is only useful if it can be successfully turned into a product. I also found that through this one framework, many of our fallacies can be addressed, and the result is an increased clarity on the issues and challenges ahead of us.

It was with this conviction that I chose to return in 2012 to HKUST’s Entrepreneurship Center, and the hope was that by working more closely and intensely with many different levels of entrepreneurs, that I would be able to develop and fine-tune a more coherent, effective and helpful framework. In the 4 years at the Entrepreneurship Center, I was able to condense my 17 years of startup experience into different versions of this framework, and along the way have given 160,000 contact-hours of lectures to CEO’s of startup’s and medium enterprises. By September of 2016, the framework was essentially mature, and it was time for me to move on, which brings me to the current book.

This book focuses on a framework that could guide a company to translate its ideas and technologies into market penetration points, and then into product design criteria and then finally into a market promotional program. Basically, this is accomplished by helping companies identify the value proposition that could generate a “need” response at the “Penetration” market group, and to develop the proper product design elements that can both enable sales into this group, as well as enabling sales growth in the “Growth” market group. This is called the VPGPP framework, because it lines up the Value proposition with the Penetration and Growth groups, and then guides the result toward the appropriate Product design elements, whose value is then communicated to the market through the culminating Promotional program.

Some readers may be wondering the differences between this VPGPP framework and the 4P framework commonly used in marketing. Well, the VPGPP was developed to target issues that are vital to the survival of a startup, and requires very tight interweaving of the Value, Penetration, Growth, Productization & Promotion in order to succeed. From this perspective, we can think of the 4P’s as being embedded into the last two P’s of VPGPP framework, but which are in-turn subject to the overall Value, Penetration and Growth strategies. So, while these two frameworks bear some similarities, their usages and values are totally different. The 4P’s are mainly used by more established companies to manage their product, pricing, promotion and place strategies, while the VPGPP addresses the unique challenges startups face trying to develop products for the first time, trying to assemble the first team, and trying to sell products without any brand recognition or any sales channel.

There are of course other topics like sales management, financing management and internal team management that are also crucial to startups, but I decided that with the present VPGPP framework, you should be able to make sufficient progress to allow you to get help in these areas from other sources in the market. This framework has already helped dozens of companies ranging from startups to those with over 100 million RMB annual sales. I hope this framework could also help you. If you should have any questions on this material, or even if you simply wish to express your liking or dis-liking with any part of this book, please feel free to drop me a note through the official channels below. I will read all your inputs, and will do my best to respond to some of your questions…but no promises. Good luck.