‘Make something people want’ – Paul Graham, Y Combinator
Avoid wasting too much time trying to change the ‘stuck’ middle who don’t want to innovate because they are very good at using the current system. Are your people your assets or your problem?
Before building your business ask: What problem would someone else solve for me?
Another thought: The number of secrets in the world is roughly equivalent to the number of startups we need.
How did the companies that are currently successful scale. When you scale big you win even if your product is inferior. Unless you can bring 10* value you are unlikely to be able to displace an incumbent. (As per Peter Thiel).
Design Thinking: He would thoroughly recommend we all do Stanford’s online course on design thinking (8-10 hours). Emphasise, define, ideate, prototype, test. Do it in groups if you can. Great course
‘Kick Ass’ products have evidence that they solve a customers problem in a big market. Focus on the early adopters. People you can beta test with. Commit 5 people. They need to know they are aren’t buying a perfect solution.
They are trying to find a home made solution. They want you to succeed, they will give you their time and honest feedback and you have a relationship of trust. Your mum is not one of these first customers!
Do you know the demographic? Needs and goals? Problems that need solving, Present behaviours? How do they go about solving those problems? Reference group? The behaviours and the psychology are key.
BJ Fogg. Head of behavioural theory at Stanford. B=mat. B=behaviours, m=motivation, a=pre-acquired ability, t=triggers (we are all contextual. We need external triggers to get us to change our behaviour. Every product is a behaviour change. Activation threshold affected by these three things, the triggers have to be enough to get them over the threshold.
Source: B.Fogg (Stanford) Site as per diagram.
Can you make something better than it already is, make something simpler. In an ideal world how would this problem be solved. Better, Simpler or emerging.
John suggests we build 5 actual profiles of people. The more specific the better. Motivation, Habit , Income, Age, Location, Status, Backstory.
Understand the full use-case lifecycle.
You need a hipster (domain insight), hacker (builder) and hustler (the first two work for him for free!).
Source: Capital Enterprise – John Spindler
What do these personas do when ‘triggered?’
Entrepreneurship is a career. Startups are risky experiments. You don’t have to experiment full time. Start today with what you have.
Suggested reading: Moms test by Rob Fitzpatrick, Running Lean by Ash Maurya and Lean Startup by Eric Ries.