A founder is passionate about her company and wants to make it big, as soon as possible. A long gestation period for the startup to make its mark in the industry can often be a frustrating experience.
However, Will Herman and Rajat Bhargava, authors of The Startup Playbook: Founder-to-Founder Advice from Two Startup Veterans believe,
“We hear it all the time: speed, speed, speed, speed. Speed is important. But while we fully believe that getting a product into customers’ hands fast is critical to the success of any startup, if you try to do it insanely fast, you’re going to make so many mistakes that, ultimately, you’ll slow yourself down.”
The famous authors have other important things to share as well, that is going to benefit the founders of businesses.
Go slow with the funding
Both Herman and Bhargava acknowledged that most founders are funding-focused. However, they think that the founders should not have funding on the top of their list.
Bhargava further explained, based on his experience as the founder of 10 startups that it is really important to take the time, to understand the business model and how they want to pitch it. They also need to do a rigorous homework on who would be the right kind of investor for their company.
It is also important to impress the founders with the best team, business, and financial models. A company would only be able to satiate its investors when they have served their customers and know their needs and desires properly.
Go slow with the customers
Herman, who is the founder of five companies, an investor in more than 70 and a seasoned advisor to many more, has seen the challenges that come with making assumptions about the customers.
Herman advises that
“You have to go find the naysayers. You have to go flesh out 30 to 50 different customers. Depending on your market, it’s going to be a different number of customers.”
They point out that not knowing who the real customers are might create a lot of problem in the long-run as the company would have by then spent a lot of money in the wrong place.
At the beginning of a company, the founders need to find the smallest possible group that really needs the product or the service the company is offering.
“Understand them deeply, because if you can get them to buy, you’ll have a good understanding of the characteristics of that group. If you don’t understand that at the beginning, you’re going to flounder,”
is what they advise.
Go slow with the product
The veterans suggest that after the founders have decided on who would be the target customers, they need to build a product that is going to suit their purposes.
“That’s how you start to build your value proposition, and that’s how you start to learn how to differentiate yourself. That’s how you learn what your go-to-market strategy is going to be, and even how you’ll make money,”
both of them opined.
These tips from the experts will come handy for those young and aspiring entrepreneurs who have an uphill task ahead of them.