Early startup founders may truly believe they’ll become the dominant player and capture their total addressable market (TAM). Most investors aren’t interested unless that number starts with a B. However, despite investor love for entrepreneurs with idealistic goals, the level-headed among us know that there are arduous steps to go from nothing to something huge.
To paraphrase Robert Frost, there are many miles to go before you reap.
When you’re starting out, go ahead — emphatically state your intention and tell potential investors you can conquer the whole market. At the same time, craft a clear, realistic plan that maps out how you’ll advance from selling to your “wedge” (the early, smaller demographic you’re targeting) to serving ever larger, ancillary — yet relevant — groups. Balance is the key, and both strategies are necessary.
Combining a pragmatic wedge strategy with your product or service can help you get your startup’s foot in the proverbial door of even well-established or crowded markets. Plenty of tech giants — including Airbnb, Amazon, Chime, PayPal, Shopify and TikTok — started small, expanded their customer base and grew their subsequent offerings over time with great success.
Wedge and TAM aren’t difficult concepts to understand. The challenge is determining the steps required to bridge the gap between them. Here’s the kicker. Those steps differ for every startup, depending on variables like products, distribution, marketing, business model and more.
The struggle is real, and it’s why we invited Felicis Ventures’ founder and managing partner Aydin Senkut and Viviana Faga, the firm’s general partner, to clarify the process in the session, Going from Wedge to TAM at TechCrunch Early Stage on April 14.
They’ll share their extensive knowledge and experience to help you identify and understand those steps — and then draw clear lines from one to the next.
A super angel turned multi-stage investor, Aydin Senkut has appeared on the Forbes Midas List eight times and on The New York Times Top 20 Venture Capitalists list four times. Since founding Felicis in 2006, he earned notoriety as an early backer of iconic companies, including Credit Karma (acquired by Intuit), Fitbit, Opendoor and Shopify. Currently, his areas of focus include infrastructure, security and the future of health.
Viviana Faga has more than 20 years of experience designing and building brand categories for successful cloud/SaaS and enterprise social companies. She helps them create scalable growth engines that drive successful exits. Faga’s particular interests include scaling and structuring go-to-market SaaS teams, messaging and positioning, category creation, freemium product strategy and sales enablement. Her past investments include Hex Technologies and Vowel and since joining Felicis this year include Walnut with more to be announced soon.
If you want to grow your customer base, capture ever-larger market share and begin your quest for market domination, don’t miss this session. Join Aydin Senkut and Viviana Faga as they discuss, identify and connect the various steps to help you take your startup from wedge to TAM.
TC Early Stage sessions provide plenty of time to engage, ask questions and walk away with a deeper, working understanding of topics and skills that are essential to startup success. Reserve your spot and register today before prices increase!