Paul Graham of Y Combinator noted that one needs three things to create a successful start-up: Start with good people, Make something customers actually want, Spend as little money as possible!
Most start-ups that fail do because they fail at one of these three. A start up that does all three will probably succeed.
Interestingly, my recent posts have looked at a few of what Paul Graham pointed out: Ideas, funding and now, what the customers want.
Without exaggerating, there are millions of ideas springing out from people’s brains day in, day out. However, there are few meaningful ideas sustainably making the rounds.
The few meaningful ideas making the rounds have mastered the art of fixing the real puzzles that make real businesses.
Connecting one’s idea to a business proposition that meets a real need that customers want. And this is really what completes the puzzle.
Everyone is believed to be building something remarkable. But then, before writing a code, building an app (web or mobile), renting an office space, or even writing volumes of sheets of business plans, would you start by asking yourself: What real problems am I solving that people really have?
No matter how high sounding an idea is, if it doesn’t solve the problems that people have, then it is believed to dead on arrival.
Recently, I read about CB Insights, a market research outfit’s insights, which revealed that at least 47% of start-ups fail because there is no actual need for what they are offering. Waoh! That’s a whopping percentage that starts out without meeting an actual need.
Of course, that isn’t an academic report meant to sit on the library shelf- it’s a deep insight that reminds us that most starters do not really take time to test their customer-needs hypotheses, as much as they spend time crafting their ideas.
Most start-ups seem to ‘build the idea’ and then fail to ‘build the business of the idea’ that will matter in keeping the idea in business for the long haul. An idea might sound good independently, but becomes a ‘product-needs mismatch’ when placed side-by-side with the people’s needs.
I have observed that nothing is as frustrating as having a well-crafted idea parallel to the people’s needs. It often returns like a woman nurturing a pregnancy for nine months only to realize she was carrying a fibroid in her womb all along.
Let’s sign it off by asking the questions: What actual solutions are you offering? Is it a match or a mismatch to the needs of your targets?
© Joseph Oakon™