May 25, 2019

Question from reader Jay Trivedi - LFPS teardown, part 2

Sent by Jonathan Stark on May 25th, 2019

Reader Jay Trivedi wrote in to ask for an LFPS teardown. Yesterday, I went into detail about what an LFPS is and how it is constructed. Today, I’m going to review Jay’s draft LFPS, which is:

I am an operations intelligence consultant who helps fast growing funded startups design easy-to-scale business processes using technology, data and AI. Unlike my competitors, I focus on short turn around time and smooth human-technology interactions.

I’ll discuss each key component individually:

DISCIPLINE: “Operations Intelligence Consultant”—I like it! It combines something well understood (i.e., consultant) with something novel (i.e., operations intelligence). I suspect that folks in or near the target market would be intrigued by this (which is good because sparking conversation is at the heart of marketing and sales).

TARGET MARKET: “Fast Growing Funded Startups”—Pretty good! It’s specific enough that it would be easy to find watering holes where ideal buyers from the target market hang out. I wonder if “fast growing” and “funded startup” are redundant. Perhaps this could be shortened to “funded startups”?

EXPENSIVE PROBLEM: “Design easy-to-scale business processes using technology, data and AI”—There’s room for improvement here. Jay has described what he does instead of an expensive problem that he solves. This is solution-first thinking which forces the buyer to connect the dots between 1) what the seller’s deliverables are (i.e., inputs) and 2) what a desirable business outcome might result from receiving said deliverables (i.e., outputs).

I’ll talk more about problem-first thinking vs solution-first thinking in a future message. For now I would recommend to Jay that he brainstorm what pain his ideal buyers might be suffering from that would cause them to want to hire him.

(PRO TIP: “we need easy-to-scale business processes” is not a pain. Why do they need that? What will happen if they don’t have that?)

UNIQUE DIFFERENCE: “I focus on short turn around time and smooth human-technology interactions”—Conjunctions are a red flag in an LFPS. They usually signal that there’s a decision that hasn’t been made. There are two potentially compelling differentiators here: “short turn around time” and “smooth human-technology interactions”. We’re going for laser-focus here, so pick one. Which would be more interesting to the ideal buyer? Which is less common amongst the competitors?

Here are a few potential revisions of Jay’s LFPS for you to consider:

I think it’s fair to say that all of these are more focused than Jay’s original. Whether or not they are focused enough to be effective is an open question, but it would be fairly easy to test by interacting with ideal buyers in the target market.