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Chapter 8


The venture capital adage "people, product, plan" clearly emphasizes the product as one of the crucial elements of a start-up. The product, together with various services the company sells, is the organization's output; it is what customers buy and use. Customer purchase orders convert the product to revenue, and the quantity of those orders determines whether the firm is viable.

During the concept stage, the product is represented by a few sketches and perhaps a prototype demonstration in a laboratory. After that stage, the product progresses through various design phases as a series of specifications and demonstrations until it can be realized and replicated through a manufacturing process, as described in chapter 7. As the company enters the market development stage, the actual product is produced by the manufacturing organization and shipped to customers for revenue. A product can be viewed in three ways:


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