Startup Competitions: Stop wasting time

Few weeks ago a friend sent me a link to a video for a competition he is entering with a new app he is launching.

Founders take competitions as a form of validation to their ideas. It makes you feel good when some important figure in a big multinational who probably never launched something by herself tells you how great your idea and how to improve it. There is a halo effect coming with this person that you can not avoid.

I was recently in a meeting and someone was sharing an experiment that they spent quite some time and multiple iterations because 30% of the user research participants requested this feature. The most important question asked was is it worth the time and effort for 30% which may sound like a big number but in fact user research rarely exceeds 20 participants. Which might mean 6 people. Would you do it for 6 people?

Priorities matter. And it is one of the biggest problems in our region. Do we prioritize living on the long run with freedom & human dignity? Or prioritize eating now? Shall we build the app and get users with real feedback? or shall we enter more competitions to get some fake validation? It is a matter of priorities and you are the one to decide.

Anyways: This was my reply to my friend. And I think it applies to many “founders” in our region.

Well, nice video for a competition. But I would rather a ask more important question, where is the app itself?
If I am in your place, instead of wasting time entering a competition I would spend this time on building something people want, and try to grow it. A competition will add nothing to the value of what you are doing. If it is good, people will use it, if it is shit, no infinite number of competitions will make you successful. The problem is you will not know whether it is good or shit until you build it, launch it, and be resilient enough to do all the possible trials which might take sometime between 3–10 years until you figure out. While doing this, you will think of giving up few times, you will hang in there few more times, but you will never know until you make it.
Don’t go into this competition and go build the app, get some users on it. Unless you have spare time to waste.
If there is something I can help with please let me know.
Good luck!

I will rant soon about the startup media but I will leave this for another post.