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Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup

ISBN: 978-1-118-69228-8
288 pages
August 2013
Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup (1118692284) cover image

24 Steps to Success!

Disciplined Entrepreneurship will change the way you think about starting a company. Many believe that entrepreneurship cannot be taught, but great entrepreneurs aren’t born with something special – they simply make great products. This book will show you how to create a successful startup through developing an innovative product. It breaks down the necessary processes into an integrated, comprehensive, and proven 24-step framework that any industrious person can learn and apply. 

You will learn:

  • Why the “F” word – focus – is crucial to a startup’s success
  • Common obstacles that entrepreneurs face – and how to overcome them
  • How to use innovation to stand out in the crowd – it’s not just about technology

Whether you’re a first-time or repeat entrepreneur, Disciplined Entrepreneurship gives you the tools you need to improve your odds of making a product people want.

Author Bill Aulet is the managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship as well as a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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STEP 0 Getting Started 15

STEP 1 Market Segmentation 23

STEP 2 Select a Beachhead Market 41

STEP 3 Build an End User Profile 49

STEP 4 Calculate the Total Addressable Market (TAM) Size for the Beachhead Market 57

STEP 5 Profile the Persona for the Beachhead Market 69

STEP 6 Full Life Cycle Use Case 83

STEP 7 High-Level Product Specification 91

STEP 8 Quantify the Value Proposition 103

STEP 9 Identify Your Next 10 Customers 113

STEP 10 Define Your Core 121

STEP 11 Chart Your Competitive Position 131

STEP 12 Determine the Customer’s Decision-Making Unit (DMU) 139

STEP 13 Map the Process to Acquire a Paying Customer 149

STEP 14 Calculate the Total Addressable Market Size for Follow-on Markets 157

STEP 15 Design a Business Model 163

STEP 16 Set Your Pricing Framework 173

STEP 17 Calculate the Lifetime Value (LTV) of an Acquired Customer 181

STEP 18 Map the Sales Process to Acquire a Customer 195

STEP 19 Calculate the Cost of Customer Acquisition (COCA) 203

STEP 20 Identify Key Assumptions 219

STEP 21 Test Key Assumptions 225

STEP 22 Define the Minimum Viable Business Product (MVBP) 235

STEP 23 Show That “The Dogs Will Eat the Dog Food” 245

STEP 24 Develop a Product Plan 253





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Bill Aulet is the managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship as well as a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Prior to joining MIT, he had a 25-year track record of success in business, from his start at IBM to his experience as a serial entrepreneur. He started and ran Cambridge Decision Dynamics and SensAble Technologies. He works around the world with entrepreneurs, small companies, large companies, and governments to promote innovation-driven entrepreneurship.

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August 12, 2013
Entrepreneurship Can Be Taught in 24 Steps

Many believe entrepreneurship cannot be taught, and that those who are successful in starting a business are born with something others do not have. Bill Aulet dismisses that myth among other misconceptions in the new book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup (Wiley; ISBN: 978-1-118-69228-8; August 2013; $32; Hardcover & E-Book).

AsManaging Director at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, Bill Aulet shows how innovation-driven entrepreneurship can be broken down into discreet behaviors and processes which can be taught to any intelligent, hardworking person. Aulet shares his inspiration, “This book comes out of my workshops around the world and MIT courses where I built and refined this approach over years with hundreds of great entrepreneurs.” 

Disciplined Entrepreneurship will change the way people think about entrepreneurship. Aulet presents an easy to understand framework that is both comprehensive and integrated with a proven step-by-step approach to founding a company by creating an innovative, highly successful product.

Designed as an integrated toolbox for first-time and serial entrepreneurs, this 24-step guide is useful to bring products more efficiently to market. Readers will also discover how to:

  • Create valuable specificity by focusing on one market opportunity that can be dominated
  • Quantify the unique value one brings to a target customer – and how to translate that value into profit
  • Overcome common obstacles in getting  products adopted by customers
  • Design and build products in the most efficient way possible

Aulet believes, “The world needs more and better entrepreneurs because our world’s problems are becoming more dire, complex, and ubiquitous.”  His hope is that Disciplined Entrepreneurship gives readers a framework as well as tools to improve the odds of making a product that consumers want in a sustainable manner.

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