Introducing a new Innovation Framework with 7 benchmarks covering (1) Problem Exploration, (2) Solution Finding & Iterating, and (3) Growth
Throughout the past year, I’ve been knee-to-waist deep in refining my practical and more detailed benchmarks to replace Product-Market Fit.
You may have read here:
What is Product-Market Fit? I put it like this:
product-market fit (noun)
1. A startup term with too many definitions to be useful
2. Something to do with aligning business, product and customer
I spoke about PMF at Chloe Capital’s Investor Forum in Denver, The Entrepreneur Network in Rochester and Venture Cafe in Philadelphia. I also hopped on a LinkedIn Live with Gregarious Narain and hosted multiple Office Hours dedicated to helping entrepreneurs through their own PMF struggles. …
As a technical or nontechnical founder, it can be daunting to decipher all that goes into exploring a problem, solving a problem, and growing your business.
From my previous posts, you know I’ve replaced the popular Product-Market Fit with 7 (more detailed) benchmarks that I believe will keep startups from avoiding the 90% failure rate.
If you’ve been following along with me then you know that I find the “90% startup failure rate” the most annoying statistic ever.
Are people really that bad at solving problems? Have we become that complacent with mediocrity?
After all, every reason startups fail can be traced back to the same crack in the foundation: Not knowing something crucial about your customer. We get so excited by our own ideas that we jump past doing deep customer discovery and validation. …
[UPDATE 3/25/2019: The final version was published as a guest post on Technical.ly. You can find it here.]
[This is a DRAFT. I wanted to get something out for International Women’s Day (March 9th). I intend to update this publicly until it’s in its final form]
In 2002, I took my first Human Factors class while studying engineering in college. In that course, I designed my first user interface; it opened up my eyes to technology’s potential if we truly designed it for people.
So I was surprised when I went to Silicon Valley in 2005 (with a twinkle in my eye) to find that not everyone shared that same obsession. All around me, technology was designed for technology sake. I nudged, pushed and begged others to really understand the customer. …
“Look, Lindsay, we’re not the kind of people that turn heads when we walk into a room,” he said to me. I laughed. My college-aged insecurities agreed.
It’s amazing how a single person’s comment can leave such an impression, it’s like a fire-heated mark left on a cow…it brands you for a lifetime.
I know what you’re thinking; something like, “That’s terrible.” or, as a friend said recently, “You be turning heads like The Exorcist.” What’s important to note is:
A single person’s opinion can throw you off both personally and professionally.
It wasn’t the only time I’ve let one person’s opinion drive my decision making. But, in my 30s, I’ve adapted a lesson from market & customer…
You have an amazing idea, you spent time sussing out the details, getting customer feedback and doing market research. You may have wanted a technical co-founder (or not), but you ended up hiring developers to build your minimal viable product (MVP).
You’re in the midst of building the technology and things are not going well.
I’m truly sorry. I have seen this happen too many times. It is so heartbreaking for me. It is why I committed my career to help nontechnical founders build businesses customers love while avoiding the common risks associated with software development.
But we’re here and you’re in this predicament, so we have to review a few things. …
You need to find customers and talk to them so that you build a marketable solution that sells.
If you don’t believe this than this article is not for you. This one is.
I assume you’re already interested in doing customer interviews. I’m not here to convince you interviews are important. You should know that.
Last week I held an initial networking call with a startup marketing expert out in Silicon Valley. He focuses primarily on Seed and Series A startups; those startups that have figured out their product and much of their marketing, and are now focused on rapid growth.
“Oy…bad timing lol.”
Well, that felt crushing. I had just sent out an email to a startup list about my upcoming workshop and a wise guy took issue.
“In order to be outstanding, you have to be willing to stand out,” my dad always told me.
Standing out comes with its consequences.
Someone had strong enough thoughts (or weak enough self-restraint) to fire off a reply to an entire list about my post. Am I the asshole, or is he?
We cannot dwell on haters. The upside to having haters is this: If you evoke strong negative feelings from some people you are likely evoking strong positive feelings from others. …