3 Timeless Concepts

Tuesday, Dec 29 (2020) | 3 min read

If you’ve spent any time with our work, you would have noticed that it’s a synthesis of many mental models, frameworks, and concepts — from behavioral science to the scientific method.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve believed that things are more connected than they first appear. And models from one domain can help unlock solutions in another. And so, whenever I encounter a new mental model or framework or thinking process that worked in one domain, I’m naturally wired to stress test it against multiple domains — including, but not limited to. entrepreneurship.

That is how the Continuous Innovation Framework came to be.

Today I want to focus on 3 specific concepts (all from the world of marketing) that are key pillars in the Demand Generation Playbook (DGP).

1. The Strategy of Preeminence (Jay Abraham)
This is a path to positioning your product as the only viable alternative for your customers. It starts by deeply understanding your customers better than they even understand themselves.

When you can describe your customer’s problems and obstacles with more specificity than they can, there is a transference of perception that occurs in your customers mind.

You become the “expert”.

In Jay’s words, you gain preeminence.

Think back to your last doctor’s visit. You walk in with a set of symptoms. If after a quick diagnosis, the doctor can explain (and label) how you are feeling with reasonable accuracy, you appoint them the expert. And rush to fill their prescription.

2. The Three Rooms Concept (Tien Tzuo)
Most entrepreneurs rush too quickly into pitching their solution. This can work if you’re talking to a “super” early-adopter who is as visionary as you are.

Unfortunately, these types of customers are rare and hard to find. More importantly, they aren’t the repeatable kind.

In order to build a repeatable customer factory, you have to add a certain finesse to your pitch and develop your customers in stages.

I find Tien Tzuo (Founder of Zuora) Three Rooms concept a helpful framework for doing just that.

Think of the rooms as stages of customer development. Each room focuses on a specific aspect of your pitch and helps convert people from unaware visitors into customers.

Room 1: Why Now/Context
In this room, you set the context for why your customer needs your product now. It doesn’t involve pitching your solution, but rather demonstrating (with evidence) how the customer’s world has changed. The goal here is firing a “switching trigger”. I covered lots of examples of these in the COVID - Black Swan webinar. If you missed that, you can find it here.

Room 2: Problem(s)/UVP
This is where you apply the Strategy of Preeminence and go deep on problems. Once your customers can better understand and label their problems, they are ready for your unique value proposition (still not yet your solution).

Room 3: Product
Customers that venture this far into your world are finally ready to learn about your product. But here too, it’s tempting to go overboard on features and benefits.

The art of the demo is showing the smallest thing possible that makes the customer buy - and no more.

Buy” being the operative word.

It is worth emphasizing that pricing (not just your solution) is part of your product. From earlier the goal isn’t creating “free” users, but “paying” customers from day one.

3. Education-based Marketing (Chet Holmes)
This is what you do in rooms one and two.

Speed of learning is the new unfair advantage. Companies that outlearn their competition, win.

The best way to learn anything is by teaching it.

So it follows that the best way to outlearn your competition is to out-teach your competition.


When you align these three concepts together, you create a demand generation system where 1 + 1 + 1 = 5.

In DGP, we’ll get into more tactical details for building out each step of the demand generation system and contextualize it across various business models - B2B, B2C, services.

DGP is available until midnight CST, Dec 31. If you’re ready to level up, you can enroll here.

If now is not a good time for you, DGP will be available again in the Spring of next year.




If you have questions or comments on the three concepts, post a comment below.