We must challenge the common wisdom that passes for immutable
truth and find new ways to think about the world.
— Moises Naim, editor, Foreign Policy
1. What are your company’s goals for the base of the pyramid market?
2. How do we identify and define base of the pyramid customers and their needs?
3. What products or services might we offer? How might we think of our products differently, what can we learn from others?
4. How do we think of this opportunity creatively and systemically?
1. What do we want by entering this market? What is the ideal state or design for our interaction with this market? What potential does your company need to see to justify entry into this market?
2. How do we measure success? What metrics make sense at the base of the pyramid and for our company? What measurable goals do we have for years two and three?
3. What is our risk? What will a base of the pyramid endeavor cost our company? (What will it cost if we do not enter this market?)
4. Who is the market? Can it be defined solely by geography?
5. How do we figure out which of our products will match with a vital need at the base of the pyramid? What products do we have that are affordable by these markets? What potential products (or patents) could our company produce (or use) that would meet their need(s)?
6. What are the business models for tapping into this market? Which is best for us?
7. Should we be selling products or “complete solutions?” (As CEMEX sells housing and additions rather than just cement.)
8. How do we think about our product in a way that brings insight to how we might be able to produce it inexpensively? An order of magnitude less expensively?
9. How could our product(s) be produced by small-medium size businesses in emerging markets? (How about in ways that increase employment, income, and purchasing power—that can be used to purchase our product.)
10. How could the purchase of our products be financed? How can we develop a product that will help people buy our product?
11. How do we move forward? Where do we locate our base of the pyramid operation? Do we protect it with a firewall? Who are the best people to staff it?
12. How do we find the right locals partner(s)? What criteria do we use to measure who is best for us?
* For a complete list of base of the pyramid enterprise development questions click here and let us know what company or organization you are with.
For an overview of how these questions fit into a process, see Base of the Pyramid Enterprise Start Up Flow Diagram.