Marc Englaro

Startups, Customer Experience and Social Enterprise

What’s your secret?

When investors look at a business idea, a question they often ask is “What makes you special?”

What the investors are looking for is the competitive advantage that will set you apart from your competitors.

Peter Thiel asks every entrepreneur he’s considering investing in:

“What’s your secret? What important truth do very few people agree with you on? What do you believe in that’s both contrarian and correct?”

Guy Kawasaki calls it the Underlying Magic and includes it the 10 slides you need when presenting to investors.

“Describe the technology, secret sauce or magic behind your product or service.”

Seth Godin is characteristically blunt on the subject

“Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.”

What makes you exceptional?

When and how to Pivot

The idea of the “Pivot” is often used in the startup community.  The term is borrowed from basketball and means to change direction with one foot anchored to the ground.   Continue reading “When and how to Pivot”

Is your product a pain-killer or a vitamin?


A common analogy used by entrepreneurs and investors when considering the likely demand for a product or service is to ask “is this a pain-killer or a vitamin?” Continue reading “Is your product a pain-killer or a vitamin?”

No smarter than you

“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people use.

Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again”

Steve Jobs

Using the Business Model Canvas

When wrote my first business plan for a startup business idea in the late 80’s, I encountered this weird phenomenon where the more I wrote in the plan, the less useful the plan became. Continue reading “Using the Business Model Canvas”

Running a Startup Camp

I’ve been an MC and speaker at a few Startup Camps including the annual Sapphire Coast Startup Camp  run by Liam O’Duibhir   also a Social Enterprise focussed event for for Startup Social.

I think the Startup Camp format is a fantastic way to introduce and develop people’s understanding of entrepreneurship in an engaging and fun way. Here is some information about how to run one of your own. Continue reading “Running a Startup Camp”

How to give an Elevator Pitch

You’re standing in a building foyer waiting for the elevator and start up a conversation with the person standing next to you.  As the elevator doors open and you step in they ask “What do you do?”

Continue reading “How to give an Elevator Pitch”

Hacker, Hipster, Hustler

An common wisdom in startup circles that I really like is that the perfect startup team is formed from three personality types, the Hacker, The Hipster and the Hustler. Continue reading “Hacker, Hipster, Hustler”

The Copper Merchant’s Complaint Letter

I have a favourite customer complaint letter.  This particular letter was written by a copper merchant called Nanni to the proprietor of the copper smelter that supplies him. Continue reading “The Copper Merchant’s Complaint Letter”

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