I’ve often said that my startup playbook is a simple, two-step process...
Step #1 - Build a 10x better product.
Step #2 - Layer on a strong brand.
The reason that I believe in this simple formula is that the dynamics that effect startup success have changed drastically over just the past few years. Today it’s so quick/easy/cheap to build and reach customers that the volume of startups in any space has never been higher.
As a result of the tremendous noise in every space, it’s super important to validate very early that your startup engages potential customers. Said another way, if your first idea (to solve this problem) was correct there would already be a good solution because so many people across the country are working on new startup ideas. And, of course, this formula has worked well for me in the past, so it’s become my go-to playbook.
What I often under-emphasize in this high-level overview is the value of distribution (ie how customers find you or how you find customers). In my mind a 10x better product + a strong brand = ongoing customer engagement + word-of-mouth growth. I rarely ever break out the notion of distribution because this is the output that I'm trying to achieve with this framework, but that probably discounts its value. Distribution should not be underestimated in early stage startup ideas.
In this podcast/video, a serial entrepreneur describes how he “will angel invest in a company that hasn’t figured-out its business model yet, but will not invest in a company that hasn’t figured-out its distribution model."
Get Right to the Lesson
I’d recommend listening to the entire thing, but to get right to the point go to minute 26:01 of this podcast/video.
Thanks to these folks for helping us all learn faster
David Sacks (@DavidSacks), CEO of Zenefits (Zenefits)
This Week In Startups (@TWistartups )
Jason Calacanis (@jason)
Jacqui Deegan (@jacqKD)
Jacob Beemer (@jacobbeemer)
Please let me and others know what you think about this topic
Email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org or let's discuss publicly at @davempayne.
Real Founder Lessons
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