Steve Blank - Test hypotheses and optimize sales

An implicit must turn into an explicit. As a startup founder and (often) CEO, you need to be out there to understand for yourself what your customers need. Draw up hypotheses and test them … Over and over again.

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When I added our first potential major customer to my list, I proceeded as always in such cases. I checked if there was a video on YouTube and if it was available in more than one language. Afterwards, I put this on alugha and we added another language at our expense. Then I sent the first mail with the link and a short description about alugha to the customer. I knew it right away: They NEED alugha! So I was not particularly surprised that I even got an invitation to an appointment ...

On site I explained all the steps how alugha works and what to do to convert your existing monolingual videos on YouTube into multilingual videos on alugha. The customer looked at me and asked me if I was serious and directly explained why his initial euphoria went completely the other way. The effort to procure all data, audio tracks, etc. is simply far too high and he was certain that we will not be able to win any customers.

On the way back to the office I was really annoyed by his ignorance. But I slept over it and I had to admit to myself that I was the ignorant person here. We had a product that was - by itself - really good, but the effort and associated costs for our customers were just too high. The solution was quite simple in this case, we rebuilt alugha to include an automated merger for such cases in our portfolio. With just a few clicks, each monolingual video, which is also available in other languages on YouTube, was transformed into a multilingual video on alugha.

What was the great lesson I learned from this? If I myself was not out there with my clients, I would never receive this feedback and I could never discuss it with our development department. I know alugha like the back of my hand and no matter what new stuff comes along, I am always involved. That doesn't mean that I have to take care of every appointment personally, because as a CEO I have many other tasks, but I have to go out there at regular intervals. I need to see how our distribution sells our product, how customers respond to it and I need to be able to act quickly. If I spend months developing a new feature and then think it was cool, BUT is not relevant for sales, then not only did I not keep pace with the times, I also have dissatisfied customers, or none at all, and I wasted a lot of money.

Conclusion: Distribution is a matter for the boss! And we can only be successful in the long term if we constantly optimize our product in a customer-oriented manner.



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