Instant Gratification: Must have or maybe just overhyped?

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”

– Jim Rohn

The Power of Now

How long does it take your product to deliver on its promise?

If your answer is ‘a couple of weeks’, you need to change that.

Or at least that what the claim is!

But why?

Introducing instant gratification…

Say what?

Come on – I am sure most of you came across this term hundreds of times.

But just for the sake of consistency here is a formal definition from our good friend Neil Patel:

“Instant gratification is the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment. Basically, it’s when you want it; and you want it now”.

I know, there is much talk these days about the ‘age of impatience’… 

… and of course about the companies riding this trend by offering products that tap into 21st-century consumers’ universal desire for instant gratification.

A couple such examples?

Here you go:

Spoonrocket (on-demand lunch in 10 minutes)

Hanic DC Aqua (transparent white teeth makeup)

PostMates (any product from any store in an hour)

Toppik (hair building fibers for instant full thick hair)

Amazon Prime (one-day delivery)

FedEx (overnight package delivery)

And the list goes on.

Today’s question?

Is instant gratification a must have or maybe just overhyped?

Ok, let’s start digging…

The Case for Instant Gratification

So, why people think building instant gratification into your product has almost become a must have in today’s market?

Here are 3 reasons to get you started…

Reason #1: Is not just expected but demanded

Yep, in line with what we said before the conventional wisdom suggests that today’s customers:

a) Hate waiting (or at best have little tolerance for it)

b) More often than not expect instant results as a given

c) Have little to no loyalty and are happy to shop around until to get what they want

The moral of the story?

Deliver instant gratification or die.

Reason #2: It plays on your advantage (due to the hyperbolic discounting principle)

What’s that I hear you ask?

According to Joseph P. Redden: “Hyperbolic discounting refers to the tendency for people to increasingly choose a smaller-sooner reward over a larger-later reward as the delay occurs sooner rather than later in time.”

That’s right – the further away an outcome is delivered in the future, the smaller the drive to get that thing (the one that delivers it) now.

So, if our economists’ friends got this right and people have always had the tendency to prefer present rewards over future…

… someone might easily conclude that’s another valid reason to add this element it into our product mix.

But wait there is more!

Reason #3: It can help you stand out from the competition

And here the assumption is, that even though clearly is something people want, delivering it is easier said than done.

Hence, if achieved by a company it can become another barrier to competition seeking to come and eat your lunch!

Just think for a moment:

Company A delivers ‘product X’ in 3 weeks.

Company B delivers ‘product X’ in 1 week.

Which one would you pick?

Assuming that the ‘product X’ is indeed roughly the same in both cases, the answer becomes obvious, right?

And what’s even better according to the instant gratification supporters is that you can also typically charge more (as a premium) for …

… delivering value faster than the rest of the pack.

So, what do you think; is it about time to bake instant gratification into our product?

WAIT!

The Case Against Instant Gratification

Yep, there is another side to this story.

The one that suggests instant gratification is NOT ‘a must have’ but just another overhyped, outdated and counter-productive ‘sacred cow type of idea’ that we have to kill once and for all.

But why?

Here you go:

It denies customers an anticipation experience

Whaaat?

That’s right – anticipation builds up excitement and by throwing it under the bus we’re shooting ourselves in the foot head.

Or as Pamela N. Danziger more eloquently put it:

While consumers say and believe that they want what they want when they want it, brands that cave to their demands for instant gratification may be doing their customers, and ultimately their brands, a disservice by stripping away the customers’ emotional anticipation for something wonderful to come”.

Just take the extreme example of Hollywood movies.

Why do you think producers put so much time, money and effort producing these expensive short film trailers/teasers months before the movie it’s released?

You guessed it – it is because is time-tested method to generate pre-release hype, buzz and excitement.

But anticipation doesn’t just stop in the pre-phase – in fact, it exists also during and after the purchase.

And the claim here is that if you give customers what they want (aka end-result) straight away you don’t allow them to fully appreciate the value they receive.

Which ultimately yes affects their overall satisfaction.

The worst part?

Instant gratification attracts the wrong type of customers…

Yes I am talking about the ones (aka delusional) that seek quick-fix solutions for everything because, well, that’s how life is supposed to be…

Or at least that’s what they think.

Conclusion

My take an all this?

Even though I have to say it’s a tough one and I can see the merits of both school of thoughts if I had to pick a camp I would probably go with the power of now.

Not necessarily because I buy the superficial argument that “you can either deliver instant gratification or die”, but mainly because I think you can play that card in a way that:

a) Doesn’t kill anticipation all together

b) Prevents the wrong type of people getting into your funnel

And with this said it’s time to put this post to bed with today’s key takeaways…

Today’s Key Takeaways

– The further away an outcome is delivered in the future, the smaller the drive to get it is

– Anticipation builds up excitement and excitement builds sales

– Today’s customers have little to no loyalty & are happy to shop around until to get what they want

 ***

Ok guys, that’s all from me for today.

If you enjoyed today’s post, check out my kindle book, The Aspiring Entrepreneur Entry Strategy: A practical step-by-step guide for finding a validated, winning business idea that stays true to who you are, that is currently available at Amazon.

I hope to see you soon.

Best,

Andreas

“When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

– Will Rogers

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‘Mini-Me Targeting’: A Great Business Strategy or Maybe a Curse in Disguise?

“Vague direction leads to misalignment every time”

– Greg McKeown

My Target Group Is…

Startupper struggling to decide who should be your target audience?

Here’s an idea.

Pick yourself…

Whaaat?

Yes my friends – I am of course referring to the classic business strategy of going after people like you.

Or as Tim Ferriss likes to put it “be{ing} a member of your target market”.

But what’s the logic behind this advice?

And most importantly: is it any good?

Ok, let’s get straight in…

Mini-Me Targeting Is Here to Stay: Here is Why!

So, what’s the reasoning?

According to the ‘mini-me targeting’ supporters it mainly boils down to these 2:

– You build a product (& go-to-market plan) faster and better

Yep, knowing intimately your target group – which happens by definition when you’re one of them – gives you a great head start because…

…you’re already ‘inside their head’ & understand deeply stuff like their motivations, pain points, life situation, concerns, what they like, buying habits and much more.

The alternative?

Starting with a clean sheet, which quite often ends up being the reason you have to:

a) Carry out extensive market/customer research (which btw yes it takes time)

b) Make a ton of customer and market assumptions (or guesstimates if you will)

b) Unnecessary go through multiple iteration cycles until to figure out which of your assumptions (from your research findings) are true and which are dead wrong

The moral of the story in a sentence?

You guessed it – building stuff based on facts (and first-hand experience) and not assumptions is always better!

–  You have a better founder-market fit

Ok, this own is pretty obvious…

Being one of them makes you more relatable.

And especially when it comes to selling that’s pretty important.

Why?

Our friend Scot couldn’t have put it better:

“People like people that they can identify with. There’s an inherent sense of understanding injected into an interaction when you connect on something.”

That’s right – in business as in life, people tend to feel more comfortable around people like themselves…

Just think for a moment: when was the last time you bought something from a business based on the relatability factor?

As I guessed it – a ton!

So, assuming we all agree that market targeting (and positioning) can make or break a business and ‘mini-me targeting’ brings so much to the table is it time to choose ourselves?

Well, before making up our mind let’s first see what the other camp have to say…

Mini-Me Targeting: Overrated and Even Unnecessary  

Yes, not only overrated but even unnecessary.

You did read that correctly!

Why?

It’s simple – being an outsider enables you to see things with a fresh pair of eyes.

As cliché as it sounds, it’s true.

Or at least that what the claim is…

So, why coming with ‘a fresh pair of eyes’ is even an advantage?

Well, the assumption here is that contrary to the ‘mini-me targeting’ conduciveness towards group thinking, by being an outsider it’s easier to see things from a new angle, challenge long-held orthodoxies, and bring radical solutions to the market.

Sort of like the ‘diversity talk’ someone might add…

Take for example Dane Maxwell a big advocate of this line of thinking.

He started Paperless Pipeline, a transaction management software for real estate brokers (& made it an 8-figure business) WITHOUT being an estate broker himself.

Yes, he knew little to nothing about that market segment and just relied on his market research and in-depth one to one customer interviews…

His thought process?

“A lot of people get stuck because they’re very me-focused. ”What’s my passion? What are my interests? What are my skills?” Get away from YOU and completely shift to what the pain of the customer is and become passionate about improving their life.”

The verdict according to this school of thought?

Going after people just like you might give you a further edge on understanding where they are coming from but…

… nonetheless produces a myopic thinking that more often than not results in “business as usual” type of solutions.

And at the end of the day, since people don’t buy products but outcomes if the prescribed solution is as everything else in the market no amount of relatedness can save the day.

The alternative?

Introducing probable purchasers…

Probable Purchasers: The What, The How and The Why

The What:

“Probable Purchaser is the type of person who is perfectly suited to what you’re offering. Trying to appeal to everyone is a waste of time and money… By looking at the unique traits of what you’re offering and the corresponding worth of those characteristics to certain individuals [you can find your probable purchaser]”

– Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA

The Why:

By finding out which people are perfectly suited to what you are offering not only you can support higher prices but also market more effectively the product.

The How:

Rather than abstractly thinking who should be your target audience before even to actually have a real product, take a critical look at what you have to offer, perform a classic market segmentation and then decide which market segment values your product more.

Conclusion

My take an all this?

Mini-me targeting is a great business strategy and won’t go away anytime soon for the very reasons listed above.

And as for the probable purchasers’ concept here is what I think:

Expecting to define your ideal target customer after you build the product is…

…A CAR CRASH WAITING TO HAPPEN!

The reason?

The regular readers already know the answer – because of the solution looking for a problem situation. Which is a BIG contributor why entrepreneurs come up with “solutions” for imaginary problems (or problems that people don’t care enough about for paying).

Having said that, the probable purchasers’ concept can be very much ‘deployed’ for brands repositioning and business spin-offs (with the necessary product re-engineering of course).

But what about the “fresh pair of eyes” advantage?

As harsh as may sound, I do believe with a few exceptions is mostly lip service from committed generalists that don’t know what they are talking about…

And with that said, let’s close this post with today’s takeaways:

Today’s Key Takeaways

– Mini-me targeting helps startuppers build stuff based on facts and not assumptions

– Defining your target customer post-building the product is a car crash waiting to happen

– Market targeting (and positioning) can make or break a business

***

Ok guys, that’s all from me for today.

If you enjoyed today’s post, check out my kindle book, The Aspiring Entrepreneur Entry Strategy: A practical step-by-step guide for finding a validated, winning business idea that stays true to who you are, that is currently available at Amazon.

I hope to see you soon.

Best,

Andreas

“Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing”

-Vince Lombardi

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Going All In vs Starting On The Side; Head to Head Comparison…

What separates successful startups from unsuccessful ones is not necessarily that they began with a better initial plan (or Plan A), but rather that they find a plan that works before running out of resources.

– Ash Maurya

Starting a business…

“I am starting my own business!”

There you said it.

Every startup enthusiast at some point in his/her life comes up with a business idea s/he thinks it too good to miss…

And even though that’s not necessarily the best way to start a business (hint: mainly because of the solution looking for a problem situation/risk), there still is a key question that needs to be answered:

Going all in or starting on the side?

That’s right – I am talking about the age-old dilemma: starting a part-time vs. full-time business.

And as you may imagine there are pros and cons to each option.

So, what today’s post will be about?

No surprises here. Taking a closer look at each one of them, doing a head-to-head comparison and deciding whether there is a clear winner or not…

Ok, let’s dive straight in.

Thinking about going part-time with your startup; Stop!

First, let’s start from the camp that thinks having a part-time business is a terrible idea.

Yes. Terrible…

Why is that?

Well, according to the “going all in or don’t bother at all” believers… a couple of reasons:

Reason #1: Lack of commitment (and time)

Classic, right?

I know…

Anyhow, the point here is that by juggling a job with a part-time business not only you risk jeopardising your work performance* but also slimming the odds of ever seeing your “newborn baby” take off.

And that last one is because since turning an idea into a success has time and time again proven to be more the exception than the rule, by not fully committing (both mentally and time-wise) you are self-sabotaging yourself and selling your business short.

Reason #2: Not driven enough for turning it into a real business

Why, I hear you ask?

Because in the opinion of the sidepreneur’ opponents you become more like a ‘startup hobbyist’ and end up not having the necessary drive for turning that thing into a real business.

Yep, having a stable job acts as a disincentive…

As they say, only when your livelihood is on the line you’ll have ‘a failure is not an option’ type of attitude and be mentally prepared and determined to do whatever it takes to overcome any obstacles are thrown at you.

Reason #3: You’ll get burned out

And last but not the least comes the burn out factor.

I am sure this argument doesn’t come as a surprise.

After all, any kind of part-time business comes with almost a requirement (or at least that’s the claim) to accept sacrificing your evenings, weekends or even holidays which makes getting time off for resting and enjoying life a non-option.

The end-result?

That’s right – getting a “good-old” burnout…

And yes, that rarely ends up pretty.

So, is it time to put your side-business dream on hold?

Think again!

Starting a business on the side is much better: Here is why!

Yes my friends, as they say, “in every story there are 2 sides.”

What’s the other story?

Building a startup while you have a parachute is a much better way.

And here is why…

It gives you the luxury to iterate from a plan A to a plan that works

The logic behind this statement is simple:

Since building a startup by its nature is full of uncertainties and unknowns, instead of just hoping to be one of those rare outliers that gets everything right on the first try, buy yourself enough time until to figure it out.

After all, as Eric Ries, said once, “{the most important factor in a startup’s life} is “the number of iterations the company has left.”

And by keeping your job while taking your business off the ground will give you the necessary funds to survive throughout the ‘figuring out phase.’

It’s a low-risk and low-pressure way to start a business

Yep, let’s take things at a personal level.

Other than turning the business into a success, you have to also consider your own well-being.

Unless you have a nest egg (aka cash buffer) ready to be sacrificed, or maybe a risk tolerance through the roof relying on your fledgling business to pay the bills can be extremely stressful…

The alternative?

Keep your job and give yourself the time and breathing space to test the water and figure things out in a low-risk and low-pressure way.

Conclusion

My take on all this?

Between these 2 options there is NOT a clear winner and it all boils down to:

a) What kind of business you’re starting out (not all startup type fit the side-business model)

b) Your personal risk tolerance and life situation (savings, family status, personal career nature)

c) Personal lifestyle, idiosyncrasy, and ambitions

Having said that it’s not a secret that I am a big fan of the side-business model and yes I do believe the claims that having a side-project pretty much always lead to jeopardising your work performance and slimming the odds of turning your business success totally unfounded.

But… as I like to say it’s your life, you call the shots so act accordingly!

See you soon

Andreas

***

Ok guys, that’s all from me for today.

If you enjoyed today’s post, check out my kindle book, The Aspiring Entrepreneur Entry Strategy: A practical step-by-step guide for finding a validated, winning business idea that stays true to who you are, that is currently available at Amazon.

I hope to see you soon.

Best,

Andreas

“Success demands singleness of purpose”

– Vince Lombardi

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Not solving a “tier 1 problem” is a recipe for (startup) disaster: Or maybe not?

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”

– Biz Stone

Tier 1 Or Nothing

2 weeks or so ago while scrolling down my Facebook’s newsfeed I stumbled upon this eye-catching (business) quote:

If your startup failed, it’s because it didn’t solve a tier 1 problem for a large enough audience.”

Which was a post intro from a guy named Mitchell Harper, a big shot ‘exited entrepreneur’.

His point in a nutshell?

Unless you solve one of the top 3 problems your target customer is experiencing you’re scre*ed!

Yep, irrespective how good your product is if you don’t abide by that ‘market reality’ you will fight an uphill battle.

And that made me thinking…

Is that claim any true?

Or maybe another classic business BS as usual?

Since it’s not an easy one we have to do a bit of digging.

Painkillers, Vitamins, Oxygen Or Vaccines: Which One Is Your Product?

First things first.

Why does Harper think that way?

In his own words…

…“[it’s because], they’ll be so focused on solving their first 3 problems that you’ll never get a look in… They simply won’t have time (or budget) for you if you’re not solving a problem that’s top of mind for them — a tier 1 problem”.

And that brings us to the old-age business dilemma:

Vitamins vs painkillers!

In fact, over the last couple of years, some additional elements got blended into the mix (and yes, I am of course referring to oxygen and vaccines).

Just in case I lost you, let me explain these analogy-driven terms really quick:

1. “Painkiller products”:

Two words…

“MUST HAVES”

Yep, these type of products fall under the essentials category.

And another common characteristic of them is that they provide an almost immediate relief.

Some classic examples?

Gasoline, electricity, internet, telephone, just to name a few.

2. “Vitamin products”:

The main alternative to painkiller-products?

You guessed it…

Vitamins (aka “as nice to haves”).

Said differently, this kind of products are not bought out of sheer necessity but rather because of a desire to fulfil some non-critical individual preferences.

Such examples could be things like jewellery, watches, productivity tools, dating apps, etc.

3. “Oxygen products”:

Not hard to guess what’s that about, right?

That’s correct. Are products that, as ‘the experts’ put it, “you can NOT live without”…

Usual suspects/examples?

Insulin (for diabetics), revenues (for companies), heating (for Siberians), or on the flip side air-conditioning (for ‘Middle Eastern people’ during summer).

4. “Vaccine products”:

And last but not the least are the so-called vaccines.

Which as you might imagine are goods with strong preventive nature such as insurance products, health check-ups, staff engagement programmes or making…a will.

Everything clear?

Good!

But at this point some of you will probably wonder; how is that related to ‘tier 1’ problems?

Well, if you think about it the underlying assumption is the same:

Either you go for this option or you’re doomed to fail.

The cold hard truth?

They are both better in theory than in practice!

Good in theory but a bit messy in practice

Why do I say that?

3 reasons to get you started:

Reason #1: Vitamins can become painkillers

That right, you did read that correctly.

But what’s the reasoning?

Quite simply because for pretty much any product category there are some trigger events (aka points of market entry) that cause people to…

… start getting really interested (or even experience an intense desire) on them.

Take for example calcium supplements.

Under no way, shape, or form could be described as a painkiller product, right?

WRONG!

Why?

Because one such trigger event (pregnancy) turns them into painkillers.

In case you wonder why, is because during pregnancy, the baby needs plenty of calcium to develop its bones and as a result, pregnant women are often being advised (on top of adding certain foods in their diet) to take separate calcium supplements.

Reason #2: A product can fall into multiple categories at the same time

This shouldn’t come as a surprise.

After all, naturally, different people have different visions, ways of thinking and set of priorities, which makes their buying habits and preferences vastly different to each other.

Let’s take handbags for examples.

As you might remember just a couple paragraphs earlier, we described them as “nice to haves.”

And here comes the question…

In what universe this product category is both a painkiller and a vitamin at the same time?

Well, if you think about it even though the majority of people can hardly describe them as a ‘must haves’ I can assure you that for a sizeable section of fashion-conscious ladies is a completely different story…

Reason #3: Tier-1 problems alone “don’t bring happiness”

What does that suppose to mean?

Simple – just because a problem is painful, urgent and on top of peoples’ minds doesn’t make it a winner.

In fact, what’s equally important is the competitive landscape, people’s budget (and past behaviour) and even the existing ‘out of the box alternatives’.

Why do I say that?

A couple of reasons…

a) If the competition effectively address that problem and people are happy with what’s out there unless you have a unique angle you’re not in any better position than none tier-1 driven businesses)

b) For a big chunk of people even painful and urgent problems don’t justify the decision to open up their wallet and actually pay for them (mainly because of budget limitations, and fixated consumption behaviours).

c) Most products don’t just compete with goods that fall in the same product category but also with existing alternatives (example: taxis compete also with bus, trains, bicycling, walking, or even car riding)

***

My take on all this?

Even though I have to say when I started out my startupper journey I didn’t pay much attention to this dilemma, over the years I came to terms with the importance (at least for B2B) of connecting the product to the wallet as closely as you can.

But to answer today’s question, even though I definitely see the merit of going after tier-1 problems, I do believe the claim that it’s the only way for making it is more BS than reality – just look around you; how many successful products defy that logic?

And with that said let’s put this post to bed with today’s key takeaways:

Today’s Key Takeaways

– Products that are both painkillers and vitamins at the same time are more the rule than the exception

– Tier-1 problems alone “don’t bring happiness”

– Just because a problem is painful, urgent and on top of people’s head doesn’t make it a winner

Ok guys, that’s all from me for today.

If you enjoyed today’s post, check out my kindle book, The Aspiring Entrepreneur Entry Strategy: A practical step-by-step guide for finding a validated, winning business idea that stays true to who you are, that is currently available at Amazon.

I hope to see you soon.

Best,

Andreas

“Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end”

– Leonard Nimoy

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Business Idea Validation: Still Popular For a Reason or Simply Overrated?

“Money talks, bullshit walks”

– Stephen King

The (Classic) Fear

If I were to ask you, “What’s the number one fear of new entrepreneurs right before the launch” what would you say?

Ok, I am not a mind reader but if I had to guess, I’d probably think you will go with the classic:

Putting something out there that nobody wants!

But you know what; in case that you missed it, 21st-century entrepreneurs seem to have figured this out…

Whaaaat?

3 words: Business. Idea. Validation.

Yep, just do a simple Google search for: ‘How to test demand before building a product’ and you’ll come across 1000s of articles, books, podcasts preaching the importance of battle-testing your idea before jumping in.

And if you’re someone like me your first reaction, chances are, would be to say: that’s a good thing.

Why?

It prevents you spending a ton of time (and money) on the wrong ideas

– It forces you to make your target customers part of the product creation process

It gives you a chance to collect feedback early on before to start getting emotionally attached to “your baby”

– It enables you to have a MUCH smoother course correction should you find that you’re heading in the wrong direction

But if it’s such a good idea why to waste our time debating this concept in the first place?

Simple. Because is not as straightforward as it sounds!

Let’s get straight in…

Testing Demand Before You Get Started

But before jumping on the other camp, I think it worth opening a parenthesis and exploring how today’s entrepreneur (try to) test the market’s water before diving in.

So, what’s the answer?

Here you go…

Method #1: Targeted Surveys

You know the drill…

Go and find your people, either online or offline, present the business proposition (what the problem is & how you intend to solve it), ask a bunch of “relevant questions” and close with the BIG question: if this product was available would you buy it?

Method #2: Do the ‘landing page thing’

The story usually goes like this:

– Set up a landing page

– Include a short snippet (or even a video) about the future product

– Say is coming soon

– And… ask the visitors to leave their email if they want to be notified when is live

Just like Dropbox, someone may add!

Method #3: Perform a smoke test

What’s that I hear you ask?

Well, simply put, is the idea of testing the appetite for a product by creating a site, pretending that a product exists, driving targeted traffic and if someone expresses an interest say something along the lines of “sorry, we run out of stock”.

Method #4: Pretotype it (aka Wizard of Oz MVP)

Pretotype?

Yes, you did read that correctly!

Without getting overly technical, this concept is basically ‘a smoke test mini-me’ with the only difference that when somebody says: “I want that thing”, rather than coming up with a lame excuse why you can’t deliver it you actually make things happen.

How?

By delivering the product manually behind the scenes.

Take Nick Swinmurn, Zappos Founder for example.

When he came up with the idea of having an online shoe shop for testing things out (before creating anything) he did this:

He began by asking local shoe stores if he could take pictures of their inventory. In exchange for permission to take the pictures, he would post the pictures online and come back to buy the shoes at full price if a customer bought them online.”      

 – The Lean Startup

And when someone ordered a pair of shoes from his online site he would then go and handle everything (payments, shipping, returns, etc.) manually without the customers having the slight idea that was the case.

Method #5: Put together a (real) MVP

No need to say more, right?

Anyhow, just for consistency, here is a formal definition by Eric Ries:

“The minimum viable product or MVP is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

 Yep, that involves actually developing something, but for most “experts” it still counts as a legit pre-build validation technique.

But with all that said it’s time to see what the others have to say…

Business Idea Validation is BS: Here you why!

Quite a strong thing to say you might note.

And what’s the reasoning behind it?

According to the advocates of this school of thought, in short, it’s because of this simple reason:

Hitting product/market fit takes time and iterating a non-existent product doesn’t work in the real world…

Just in case I lost you lets me break this down for you…

– Hitting product/market fit takes time

For most startupers, that’s almost a no-brainer.

As Ash Maurya eloquently put it in his classic book, Running Lean, “what separates successful startups from unsuccessful ones is not necessarily the fact that successful startups began with a better initial plan (or Plan A), but rather that they find a plan that works before running out of resources.”

Yep, they managed to iterate from a plan A to a plan that works.

The moral of the story?

No guesses here – expecting to hit a product/market fit from the get-go is more like a dream than reality so act accordingly…

However, where things get a bit more complicated is the second bit of the above reasoning.

– Iterating a non-existent product doesn’t work in the real world

Why is that?

Well, in the opinion of many, even if the claim that business idea validation, done right, allows you to almost predict whether a new product would be successful or not (by testing demand before building anything) is valid there are 2 BIG problems:

– On the one hand, it kills ideas that may at that time to be flawed but with some iterations could be turned into viable propositions

– And on the other hand, it keeps you spinning your wheels but getting nowhere

And the logic behind that second point is that unless you launch something out there (yep in the real world) you do NOT really learn because:

a) You’re stuck in your little bubble (or at best in a controlled environment) that acts as a reality distortion enabler

b) The feedback you receive from non-customers (which is practically what you’ll get unless you go through the MVP root) rarely cuts the mustard.

***

My take on this?

Even though I have to admit for many years I was a strong advocate of doing the “validation thing” (I even devoted a chapter about this in my book) I am now of the belief…

…that an entrepreneur’s job before diving in not necessarily to try verify that his/her ‘solution’ would be accepted in its current form but instead to ensure that the market exists (by doing some basic market research) and the pain-point s/he tries to tackle is not only REAL but is also PRESSING.

After doing that, I have no reservations to say that at least from my own experience shooting for a single feature MVP is the way to move forward!

But to answer today’s question, yes business idea validation is popular for a reason but I do agree that iterating from a plan A to a plan that works can NOT happen unless you launch something concrete out there…

Today’s Key Takeaways

– Hitting product/market fit takes time

– Iterating a non-existent product doesn’t work in the real world

– The feedback you get from non-customers rarely cuts the mustard

Ok guys, that’s all from me for today.

If you enjoyed today’s post, check out my kindle book, The Aspiring Entrepreneur Entry Strategy: A practical step-by-step guide for finding a validated, winning business idea that stays true to who you are, that is currently available at Amazon.

I hope to see you soon.

Best,

Andreas

“Startups take off because the founders make them take off. There may be a handful that just grew by themselves, but usually it takes some sort of push to get them going.”

– Paul Graham

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