If change is the only constant then one thing that prolongs the onslaught of that constant is “Lethargy”. As an entrepreneur or the Start-Up business one should always try to take the road less traveled by to make the difference and achieve the desired result. The road less traveled could be in any sphere of the business, be it model, strategy, planning, execution or anything else. Don’t we call it innovation? But then, it comes at the expense of quitting the lethargy, something really challenging to do. And that’s why not every business succeeds in innovating. And that’s why we have self-proclaimed entrepreneurs and actual entrepreneurs.
I remember reading a post by “Chris Dixon” wherein he beautifully articulated the default comfort zone of our surrounding and how that relates to entrepreneurship.
First-time entrepreneurs often fail to realize that when you build something new, no one will care. People won’t use your product, won’t tell people about it, and almost certainly won’t pay for it. (There are exceptions – but these are as rare as winning the lottery). This doesn’t mean you’ll fail. It means you need to be smarter and harder working, and surround yourself with extraordinary people.
The default state of the world is to stay the way it is, which means the default state of a start-up is failure.
The fact that nobody cares about your product should motivate you enough to plan your “Marketing & Sales” tactics. Developing an awesome UX doesn’t come accidentally. It will make you learn which bridge to cross and which to burn; value comes from being everything to someone than trying to be everything to everyone. And while you plan it out, just Keep-It-Simple-Stupid (KISS)
Unless and until your marketing communicates the value your product carries no one is going to make a purchase. The same applies to services as well. As an entrepreneur you must answer whether your product is a Vitamin (Nice to have), or an Aspirin (Must have), as said by David Skok. And while answering don’t just focus on the problem you’re solving, but also who has the problem. You won’t make much out of your marketing effort as long as you don’t have large market to serve, who has the problem. Validation is the key to building successful marketing program. Prevention is always better than cure. And yes, don’t confuse large market against having a market niche.
It’s time you, especially tech start-ups, come out of the syndrome “If I built it, they will come”. They might come, but by the time they will come you would have failed so many times.
Not every entrepreneur and every Start-Up business succeeds in crossing the “Valley-of-Death”, and inadequate or improper market planning could be one of the reasons for the same. However, before we discuss those pointers let’s have a story to understand the importance of research and knowing the facts.
This story is an ‘alleged’ transcript of an actual radio conversation between a US naval ship and Canadian maritime contact off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. The tale, in various versions and featuring different nationalities, has circulated widely in emails and in books for many years. However, this isn’t a true story, and no where meant to hurt any nationality.
Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees North to avoid a collision.
Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees South to avoid collision.
Americans: This is the captain of a US navy ship; I say again divert your course.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES’ ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, THAT’S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.
Canadians: We are a lighthouse; your call.
Having read that, let’s discuss our pointers.
- Never misjudge the size of your overall market and neither the growth it could achieve. Know your customers, know their problems, and which of them is your product/service is solving. It’s like preparing for your university exam. It’s always good to know the syllabus and prepare accordingly than trying to read everything.
- And while you study and analyze your market don’t be over ambitious in your projections or expectations. Even with full tank of fuel you can go up to some specific miles.
- One of the biggest mistakes one could make is not to work on the channels to execute the marketing plan.
- It pays to analyze your competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, so as to build a robust marketing plan, one which could focus on your strengths and leverage on competitors weakness
- Neither taking marketing as a serious business requirement, nor knowing about the promotion techniques. Just because you aren’t aware of the technique doesn’t means that it holds no importance to your business.
- Misinterpreting the customer requirement. Refer to the Old lady story Here
At 366pi we believe that an amateur management or team could be as fatal as a premature form of business organization. Stay focused; don’t hesitate to reach out to Mentors to take you out of the Death Valley; Be Mature. And if you feel your business requires validating your market, building a robust marketing plan/strategy, or plan the execution of the strategic plan, then 366pi could be the answer. We appreciate sharing accountability, sharing risk, and would be more than happy to take you out of the Valley-of-death.
It’s more important to do what is required, than to do your best. And it is most important to do the best of what is required. Thank You.