The three primary reasons why startups fail:

1. No one PRODUCTIZES the offering. They don’t identify how the idea’s FEATURES actually BENEFIT anyone. They don’t have a clue who their target AUDIENCE really is. They design a logo, put up a website up, and advertise online, without identifying a need or even desire for the product or service (offering). They don’t bother to look for competitors already producing the same or similar offerings. They don’t project how the product/service will make money now or in the future.

2. LAUNCH without INFRASTRUCTURE. Once PRODUCTIZATION is complete, and branding and marketing materials developed, launching with no infrastructure to support fulfillment (orders of your products, or scalability with website use) is the 2nd place I’ve seen startups fail. STARTUPS MUST DELIVER on promises (features, benefits/solutions) OUT OF THE GATE, and be able to fulfill ALL ORDERS, and have the infrastructure to scale, FAST!

3. Little to no R&D investment. Last place I’ve seen companies fail again and again, is their first product does 1 & 2, but they have no plan, and no one in the company is working on NEW PRODUCTS, or features…2.0, 2.1…etc. Horizontal & Vertical marketing of new products/services should be ongoing!! And new products or services should be releasing EVERY 6 months, MINIMUM!! Welcome to the internet age.

Avoid these common startup failures with the RAF gorilla marketing method of actualizing your ideas into products and services for profit.

While the foundation of marketing remains the same as it’s always been, today’s marketing methods are different than ever before with the advent of the internet. We can now market a product or service before it’s ever built— create buzz, excitement, even before launching the offering. At product launch, we can reach an expansive audience, like never before, through social media marketing, and more. And we can do all this with the RAF marketing process, at little to no cost.

Invest the time to actualize your ideas, and create a job you love. Walk the process you’ll learn in these WORKSHOPS step-by-step, and dramatically increase your odds of startup success.

Hi. Welcome to WORKSHOP 1 of Lean Startup Marketing. Lean Startup Marketing is a 3-step process to actualizing your ideas into products and services for profit, delivered in 3 WORKSHOP series. This course is taught LIVE, in its entirety, at University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University, Stanford, California.

I’m your instructor Jeri Cafesin. I am a serial entrepreneur, veteran creative director, and marketing communications specialist for seed-financed startups, to Fortune 500 corporations. I’m also a marketing instructor, have been for 20 years now, at accredited universities in southern and northern California. I am passionate about helping innovators launch their imaginations into products and startups of value. Feel free to reach out to me here with questions. Comments or insights on how LSM Online can be more effective for you are always welcome!

Most innovators launch a startup backwards. They put up a website and slam the internet with less than effective advertising and marketing campaigns because it doesn’t cost anything to publish on the net. They don’t get much traction with their roll-out marketing efforts, and keep investing more time and energy into advertising, but still don’t get more than a few customers, who likely don’t last long.

In Silicon Valley, this is known as the “Fire, Ready, Aim,” method of starting up. And invariably leads to startup failure.

Lean Startup Marketing teaches the “Ready, Aim, Fire,” marketing method of actualizing a product or startup, to realize the most benefit— the greatest return on your marketing investment, at launch, and beyond.

The RAF marketing method is a process, delivered step-by-step, in 3 WORKSHOP series, each building on the previous steps.
WORKSHOP 1. Step 1—Get Ready, and PRODUCTIZE your idea into an offering of value.
WORKSHOP 2. Step 2—Take Aim, and BRAND your offering to target markets.
WORKSHOP 3. Step 3—Fire. LAUNCH marketing campaigns, with consistent branding across all media.

You must follow the RAF marketing method IN ORDER, to effectively actualize an idea for profit— turn it into a product or service of value, something someone wants.

This course assumes you have the knowledge and means to produce the offering you envision. PRODUCTIZATION and BRANDING do NOT require your idea already be produced. Marketing your idea should happen simultaneously with developing it. By WORKSHOP 3— LAUNCH, however, you should have a complete, and quality-tested offering to sell.

We’ve started broad so far, but each of the three WORKSHOP series drills down and closely examines the RAF marketing methodology step-by-step. Execute these steps [IN ORDER] to market your idea into an offering of value, and increase the likelihood of a successful launch.

Step 1—Get Ready. Productize an idea into an offering.

PRODUCTIZATION is the most neglected step in starting up, and the most important. Taking an idea and turning it into a product someone actually wants requires defining the idea’s characteristics clearly, concisely, and specifically. This process is a must for startup success, but also to grow any business into a lasting company of value.

We begin the journey of creating a product or service from an idea through the process of PRODUCTIZATION.
To productize your idea, you must identify what its features and benefits are, and what solutions your offering provides to a specific group of people.
Next, you must find out if anyone else has already done your idea. If they have, don’t quit. Come up with differentiators— new features and benefits for your offering that are different from your competition.
Potential Horizontal and vertical markets must be identified in the initial PRODUCTIZATION phase to insure you have a continual stream of target markets to sell to.
Constructing an Elevator Pitch will give you the words to chat up your offering quickly and concisely. And finally, determining an initial profit model for rollout, as well as a year, and five down the line, will complete the PRODUCTIZATAION process of turning your idea into an offering of value, for profit.

Step 2—Take Aim. Brand offering to target markets.

When you brand your offering to target markets you are effectively putting a face on your idea, so it becomes something, instead of just an idea.

Whether a product, service and/or new company, branding begins with a name—like naming a newborn.

We give children language to communicate. We give our new venture a voice with Taglines— an essential component of the corporate identity, to communicate who we are and what we have to offer.

Understanding graphic design is essential to creating effective marketing.

A corporate I.D., also known as a logo, must be as dynamic on a Twitter feed, as the side of a building. You must create an complete identity for your startup, but also for each new product released.

Branding is an ongoing process. Advertising and marketing tools and campaigns must be continually developed for launch content and beyond. Lean Startup Marketing covers online technology basics, from user interface design that looks great on the PC as well as mobile devices. Then we parlay this knowledge into building stunning websites and online marketing campaigns at little to no cost.

You’ll begin a professional image library of pictures and video clips to use in your marketing

material. And learn tips and tricks of SEO copywriting to creating attention grabbing headlines, email campaigns, and micro-posts that improve your search engine ranking, and get response.


Step 3—Fire. Launch marketing campaigns with consistent branding across all media.

All the branded marketing material you created in Take Aim, you now FIRE— Launch those campaigns at your target markets.

First, publish your website, which is your virtual storefront, and should include all your company offers.

Next, launch your initial Social Media Marketing campaigns, and physical print media with management tools and proven strategies to increase brand awareness. Include website links, as well as special offers and incentives to entice first adopters at launch.

Make sure to include email marketing in your launch campaigns. Email is the #1 way we SELL today.

Next, you solicit PR, get press, ratings, do interviews, write articles for industry rags, do guest blogs or vlogs, to get other people to chat you up.

We’ll explore the emerging world of big data analytics— the next big thing in targeted marketing.

And lastly, we’ll review where, and how to get funding for your new venture.

I’ve brought Tom Edison into this course because Tom was an entrepreneur who actualized his ideas into products for profit.

“Genius is 1% INSPIRATION and 99% PERSPIRATION,” Tom said after 5,000 attempts at the light bulb before creating one that didn’t explode.

Effective marketing is SELLING, and is achieved incrementally through endless iterations.

So, do the work.

Don’t quit.


The Ready, Aim, Fire marketing method is one of the most effective ways to launch a new product or startup. However, even if you follow this process to the letter—you get ready and productize your idea. You brand your offering and launch it on the internet…the best way to get traction for you new venture is through the PEOPLE you meet along the way.




I can not stress this enough.

It applies to every level of business, whether you’re looking for a job, or creating a startup, or hiring for your company. NETWORK.

After all, it’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know that will help pave your path to success.

WORKSHOP 1, the process of PRODUCTIZATION begins with MARKETING. In fact, the entire Lean Startup Marketing course is about product and startup marketing. Again, this course assumes you have the knowledge and means to produce the offering you envision.
But taking an idea from your head, and producing a product or service for profit requires an intimate knowledge of marketing. Whether you have your MBA, or are new to the marketing game, all the marketing you need to know is in the next video.