Vertical startups are companies that are hyper-focused on delivering value to a specific niche. Building a startup using the Vertical Method means you can skip investor funding, minimize competition, and be adaptive to future pivots.
Here’s the old way:
- You have a great idea.
- You assess market viability
- You get an investor to build an MVP
- You build your MVP
- You ask for more money to find customers for it
- You test product-market fit
Savvy founders will agree that this business model is antiquated.
If you can’t find someone to fund your startup, then your business dies right on the spot.
Or worse, you get funded, the investors take control, and the company and vision is no longer yours.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
The vertical way is to use the GPDS framework instead (from the book Minimum Viable Mockup).
This framework works best with direct-to-consumer brands. The Vertical Method can also be applied to B2B. The Vertical Method isn’t so great with emerging tech that needs more than one year to build an MVP.
The GPDS framework:
- Grow a customer list
- Presell a minimum viable mockup
Growing a customer list means you are grabbing names and emails from your customers.
A customer list is an asset. Your customer list has value on day one.
In fact, companies buy up other companies solely for their customer lists alone.
A customer list also means you can build solutions for your customers’ pain points through feedback.
What’s more is your customer list can go with you on every pivot so it gives you a lot of flexibility.
Preselling means you’ve validated your idea before wasting any money on development.
Once validated, you can safely move forward towards Developing your solution.
After you’ve developed your product, and worked out most of the kinks, then can you finally begin to think about Scaling.
This makes sense, right?
This idea is not too profound. Anyone that hears it, will think, of course the Vertical Method is how a founder should launch.
But not many people are doing it.
They don’t teach this in MBA programs.
And there’s a reason for this.
VC Influence in MBA programs
Venture capitalists inform MBA programs on what their entrepreneurship program should include.
An no surprise here, the education is tailored towards making the venture capitalist happy, not the founder.
Building a vertical startup puts all the power in the founder’s hands.
A vertical startup is the ONLY WAY to get profitability AND happiness.
If you’re interested in learning more, don’t miss out on your FREE ticket to Vertical Startup Summit.