I started working on my own when I was 14 and learned a lot since then. Made many mistakes, had doubts, got frustrated, was happy, did party, was sad, angry, disillusioned. The awesome Steve Blank video series helped me to sort my vision and myself. I didn't write for you, I did it for me... and you
Steve Blank - Customer Segments
Your customers do not exist to buy, you exist for them! Memorize this concept!
All too often I hear from other StartUps that they are doing something the customers need and that they will be approached. Is this really the case? Do we do something and the customers just come to us? Is it not actually that we do something BECAUSE there are customers and that we exist for them? To make sure that our developments do not bypass the needs of our customers, burn lots of money or forcibly endanger our existence, it is of great importance to know what the customer is really looking for and why they should pick your StartUp.
What is the best way to do this? Go outside, ask potential customers, users, customers of the competition what they are looking for and why do they use product A from company B? What do they like about it, what bothers them or what are they missing? The more questions you ask and get answers, the more you will get to know your perfect customer. Furthermore you will save time and money for potentially unnecessary development.
It may happen that you have more than one model customer, it is more so that you will have two or three to be taken into consideration. It is important to understand what it comes down to. Be aware that you are a StartUp with little to no experience and that you have misinterpreted the needs here and there. This can be aggravating but it will not seal your downfall. You are small and flexible and that is your strength, you have the opportunity - which you must absolutely use - to constantly optimize and adapt your product. Once you have the feeling that important and relevant changes were made, reflect this to your model customer. If you follow this cycle carefully, you will save yourself time, money and trouble and what is cooler than having a product that your customers like.
Here a very personal tip: At alugha, we have customers who use our product for free and at a pretty early stage. We conclude strategic cooperations and receive very valid feedback. These customers know that we are in the Alpha- early Beta stage and the development towards the final product may be subject to significant changes. Often these are the customers who end up with a product that feels tailor-made for their needs and they will happily become paying customers and/or strategic partners.
This article is written by our CEO, Bernd Korz. With his experience as an entrepreneur, he shares his vision about the lessons provided by Steve Blank. Join us every week for a new article on Steve Blank’s lectures.
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