Overview

According to data collected from product failure rate surveys sponsored by MIT Sloan, University of Michigan, Harvard and many others, the sad truth is that most products fail – some surveys suggest 80% or higher product failure rates. And, this dismal fact isn’t limited to startups. The number one cause for failure cited was “no market need”. In other words, you may think you have a vital and irresistible product, but the market may see it as entirely unnecessary.

Wildcat Venture Partners performed a survey across more than 2,000 companies, half from the technology sector and the other half across all industries. The findings suggest that instead of seeking product-market fit, startups and incumbents must seek market-product fit.

Without a market, there is no need for your product. You can only get market-product fit by adopting a market-first mindset and by using techniques that provide you with statistically-valid market input. In this presentation, Bruce Cleveland – founding GP of Wildcat Venture Partners – will show how you can use the Traction Gap Framework, developed by Cleveland and Wildcat Venture Partners, to enable you to generate healthy top and bottom lines through a market-first product line process.

About the Speaker

Bruce Cleveland is a Founding Partner at Wildcat where he focuses on investments in artificial intelligence (AI) marketing, EdTech, enterprise software as a service (SaaS) and the Internet of Things (IoT). His specific areas of interest include enterprise automation, education and training, and general business applications. Bruce likes working with early stage companies that use technology and data to increase revenue and decrease costs.

Bruce held senior executive roles in engineering, product management and product marketing with companies, such as Apple, AT&T, Oracle and Siebel Systems. Bruce’s last operational role was as a member of the founding executive team of Siebel Systems, where he served as senior vice president and general manager of Marketing and Products. In this role, Forbes and IDC credited him with creating the most effective B2B alliance program in the software industry. Bruce began his venture capital career at InterWest Partners, where he was the first investor and a former board member of Marketo, which held an IPO in 2013 and was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2016 for $1.8 billion.

Bruce attended the United States Military Academy, West Point, and received a B.S. in business administration from CSU, Sacramento.