A challenge in the early days of every business, particularly those selling to other businesses larger than they are, is that nobody likes to be someone’s biggest customer, or take a risky bet. When I started in the consulting field, we were insanely high risk for a client to choose over an incumbent (big agency,… Continue reading
Customers don’t give a shit about how your technology works
Every now and then I see this weird confusion about why people buy stuff. People buy stuff to solve problems. They buy stuff for a “job to be done”. Startups are no different – people choose to buy (or not buy) their products based on whether they (a) experience the problem the startup aims to solve,… Continue reading
In the early days, startups are all about focus. You need to focus on who your customers are, their problems, your technology problems, your marketing problems, and your hiring problems. Your job as a startup, and particularly a founder, is to build shit people want. It will be very hard, because if it was easy,… Continue reading
You probably aren’t charging enough.
One of the most important lessons I ever learned was that people almost always underprice their products and services. I learned the lesson first in services running a consulting company, which was an extremely painful mistake to make. We initially appallingly undercharged, and while it had the effect of letting us pick up some early… Continue reading
You can’t build a business out of icing
As I’ve mentioned in the past, being a founder is a shitty, often thankless job. There is a lot of rhetoric in the press about how great and fun it is to be a founder – captain of your own ship1Self-employment is not nearly as fun as others would make it seem, having been on… Continue reading