Last Thursday, I said your success as a startup founder depends a lot on you being crystal clear on WHOM you (your product and service) serve. Let’s allocate 40% weight to this.
So you say, “Allan, I’ve got the WHO down pat. I can picture her. I know her pains. I can feel her frustrations with this problem. I’ve seen and heard her curse aloud as she struggles with this problem. She’s starving for a solution that works – or one that sucks less than is currently available. Now what?”
Good question. I thought you’d never ask.
The next big piece (another 40 percent-er) you need to figure out is the WHAT you offer to your WHO.
As an entrepreneur, you’re wired to start and focus almost exclusively on the WHAT – your product, service, website, widget, whatever. We see this every day:
“My product will revolutionize the industry.”
“It’s the best thing since the iPhone”
“It’s a Facebook killer.”
Big mistake. Don’t do that.
Start with WHO. Then follow with WHAT. Don’t believe me? See what Seth Godin says here about first starting with a tribe. Got that? Great.
So WHAT do you offer your WHO? Is your product and service a dream-come-true solution to your WHO? Does your WHAT make a meaningful difference to your WHO? Will the dog, as we say in the industry, eat the dog food?
The classic mistake to avoid here as you build your WHAT is keeping it under wraps – in beta or stealth mode – forever while you tinker away and burn your investors’ cash.
Once you have a version 0.1 of your product and service that works decently, launch AND charge for it. Free lunch is for losers.
Then keep your ears to the ground and observe your WHO as they interact with your WHAT. Take in every feedback as data and move on to version 1.0 of your WHAT.