In the field
We are perhaps 4–5 months into Learning Motors now. We have a name (finally), a mission, some sense of what technology we need to put together, and are starting to take some baby steps towards building a team. We are obviously in stealth mode because things aren’t mature enough yet to discuss broadly.
We have, what I think is the most critical aspect of any startup — a wee bit of momentum. Things are accelerating, the number of hours in the day seem to be shrinking, its starting to feel slightly intense. But all this work — Team, Funding, Tech stack, Product plan etc, pales in comparison to the most important task of all at this stage of the company — Time on the field understanding the market deeply.
The last time we spent a week in the field, we came back with a high level sense of what problem we were going to solve. We are heading back again, for a couple of days of immersion. I am hopeful that we will surface back with a deeper sense of what product we want to build.
Being close to the customer, spending time in the field is probably the no 1 task we can do as entrepreneurs. Our ability to speak with authority on the subject matter, our understanding of the problem we are trying to solve is directly proportional to the time in the field. This might seem very obvious, but I have seen a lot of startups skimp on this step. The ability to find product-market fit directly depends on time in the field. All else, timing, product, getting customer to pay is borne from the insights gained in the market.
So heading back to the field. This journey has been quite amazing so far!