Things that don’t matterWhat technology you use How much money you raisedYour “development methodology” Having big wigs on your board ofPatents directors/advisorsYour business plan P&L & Pro forma budgetsYour marketing strategy How many Twitter followers you have“Viral Anchors” Traction on your blogUsability Articles about you in the NYTimesGraphic Design Presenting at SXSWBranding User signupsWorking 80 hours a week Getting great response atFlexible office hours DemocampFree expresso & a foosball table How many employees you haveAn Employee Stock Option Plan How much you pay themGet Satisfaction/Uservoice How many features you buildSurveys If you are funded or who funded youWinning Start-up awards Integrating Facebook ConnectWhether your friends like your idea Adding featuresWhether anybody likes your idea Articles about you in TechCrunchHow robust your servers are Financial projections Whether you like your idea
Things that do matter Product/Market Fit Traction Running out of money
A Better WayProblem/Solution Product/Market Scale Fit Fit Finding a plan that works. Accelerating that plan. Build - Measure - Learn - Pivot Expend capital. Grow. Optimize.
Stage 1: Problem/Solution FitDo I have a problem worth solving?1. Solve a problem that a lot of people have.2. Solve problem that is close to large amounts of money.3. Find a better way to do something that a lot of people do.4. Invent something new that a lot of people want. Document your “Plan A”.
Stage 2: Product/Market FitHave I built something people want?• The customer is willing to pay for the product.• The cost of acquiring the customer is less than what they pay for the product.• There’s sufficient evidence indicating the market is large enough to support the business.* or *40% of users saying they would be “very disappointed”without your product.
The Goal: Minimum Value Product (MVP)A product with the fewest number of features required to getusers to pay*.*with some form of a scarce resource.
The Validated Learning Loop Build Measure Learn
Building a validated learning loop1. Formulate falsifiable hypotheses2. Design a time-boxed experiment3. Validate Qualitatively, Verify QuantitativelyBAD:We want to become market leaders in mobile blah-blah-blahfor the blah-blah segment.GOOD:If we build a free iphone app that does blah, can we get 1out of 10 people who download it to use it every day?