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The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets by Eric Ries, Patrick Vlaskovits, Brant Cooper

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Choosing a Market Segment

As we’ve discussed, the market segments you decide to pursue drive your business model. You can write a detailed plan on your product platform, how it will be distributed, what marketing channels will be the most efficient, and how the product will be sold, but all that depends on your market segment.

(Unless, of course, you choose your market segment based on one of those criteria. In other words, if you choose to disrupt the distribution model and only serve customers willing to buy computers off the Internet, then your distribution has chosen the segment that will behave that way.)

Notice, however, that we did say “choose.” Yes, you get to choose your market segments. Not only will this affect the potential size of your business, it may also affect how you feel about it. It’s important that your vision for the business align with your values and that the market segments align with your vision.

Case Study: Carla’s Dream Jobs
We were helping a social entrepreneur (we’ll call her Carla) whose vision is to help out-of-work women find their dream jobs. Carla is passionate about changing the lives of these women in fundamental and meaningful ways. She wanted to create a marketplace that would match their dream jobs with real-life business opportunities.
One business model hypothesis that she and her team were exploring had the job opportunity side of the product provided by large businesses that would require an enterprise, B2B sales model. She lamented ...

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