Executive summary

Market Validation

The Market Validation Program (MVP) has been developed and updated over decades. It is intended for any company that needs to validate its go-to-market plan. The emphasis in MVP is learning by doing, drawing off numerous well-respected authors and utilizing well-proven management tools, including Steve Blank’s customer discovery process, Osterwalder & Pigneur’s Business Model Canvas generation and testing, Eric Ries’ Minimum Viable Product/Service, Geoffrey Moore’s market segmentation, positioning statement and value propositions, and others, for a total of 24 modules. Although originally intended for startup information technology companies in the eighties, it has proven to be applicable to virtually any industry type at any stage, provided the participant has a genuine interest in revisiting their sales and marketing programs and dramatically increasing their revenues.

Through personal experience, delivering the full 24-hour program to hundreds of companies across the continent, I have discovered that everyone can benefit substantially by applying the 24 core concepts to their business opportunity. The payback for their time and money invested is incremental revenue. With the involvement of mentors, or consultants, who have relevant experience, the learning process is greatly enhanced. In summary, what I have learned over the past decade is that a business person pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity, supported by an experienced mentor/consultant, using the tools provided in the Market Validation Program, will see the holes in their go-to-market approach, fill those holes by applying the MVP principles, and dramatically increase their revenue in short order.

The Market Validation Program is designed to facilitate learning by doing, so that each company participant can apply the principles to enrich their business opportunity. Each module in The Program can be easily delivered in one six-hour session and the client then has one month to work on implementing the core concepts in their actual business setting, with the support of Appleton Greene and their Accredited Consultants. Therefore, the total elapsed calendar time for the full 24-module MVP will be 24 months. This is ideal and allows the client companies to learn, implement and experience each of the modules over the month between each module as instructed by Appleton Greene. The Program is intended to be industry agnostic and to be applicable regardless of the age and stage of the company. All that is required is that participants must bring a significant business opportunity to the Program and be willing to apply the principles to provide a fresh perspective on their opportunity. They need to believe they can dramatically improve revenues by working the Program. Although we cannot guarantee success, we can make a compelling argument for why the time and money spent on the Program should result in success. In the words of one participant: “My return on investment by participating in this Program is easily in excess of 1,000%.”

Although MVP is applicable to virtually any business setting, it is also open to customization, with modules that can be added, subtracted or modified according to client requirements. The overall objective of MVP is to validate the client’s go-to-market plan and improve revenue by leveraging the knowledge and skills from the Program. MVP has been proven in over ten North American geographic markets from coast to coast, with dozens of industry types, and with companies at pre-startup, start-up, “rev-up” (a dramatic revenue increase), market expansion, restart or other stages of company development in the market. The MVP concepts may be applied to new company startups or to division startups within an existing corporation.

It is conceivable that MVP may become industry specific. For example, the current vision is to offer a Life Sciences Program that would still be broadly applicable, as the industry itself is, but also somewhat tailored to some of its uniqueness, such as the heavy federal regulatory burden it carries. Based on this natural evolution, we may then extend this to other industries, such as wireless, iOT, technology, environmental/clean-tech or whatever seems most relevant. Enhancing the program to provide industry specifics is not that difficult, since much of this turns on providing appropriate examples and having consultants to mentor or teach, who have the requisite industry experience.