What do your users say?
I have always prioritized execution over ideation.
Startup culture does not. People over emphasize the idea, and under execute.
What ends up happening is this:
People get super excited about their ideas (for all I know, they could be incredible ideas). They tell their friends (they like them too). They tell other startup people (who also like their idea). They go raise “angel investing.” They outsource developers. They get some press. They win a startup competition.
And they wait 6 months before releasing a product.
The problem here is that, following this route, we end up making decisions based entirely off of assumptions that have been falsely validated by vanity metrics. We fool ourselves into believing we are doing a great job, when in reality — we have no idea how we are doing.
The only metric that really matters for most fast-growing, early stage companies is one thing: Net Promoter Score (NPS). Do people like the product?
Let’s take it a step back. The only thing you should care about is not whether or not they like the product, but rather — what do they think about it? Do they hate it? Why? Etc.
And we can play this game all day — guessing whether or not these people will like our precious idea. But truthfully, it is hard as hell to predict what will be on the dinner table tomorrow, let alone if someone is not only going to say they like, but also actually use what I’m building.
Rather, I let them do the talking. I build, with people, the smallest version of my idea — something that tests my assumptions — and I get feedback.
So when you tell me about your “genius idea” that you have been working on for 6 months. And you brag about all the investors, press, etc. that you have been getting — I’ll ask one simple question, and I will ask it every time:
“What do your users think?” How many do you have?”
Originally published at Jordan Gonen.