The book The Startup Owner’s Manual 1 has a lot of practical tips to increase the chances of success at your startup. Here are some notes from Chapters 4 and 5 from the book.
Questions to ask
- Have we identified a problem a customer wants to see solved?
- Does our product solve this problem?
- Do we have a viable and profitable business model?
- Have we learned enough to go out and sell?
- What do I want to learn? What is the simplest pass/fail test I can design to test this?
- Develop the product for the few, not the many.
- Find the earlyvangelists (sic). Earlyvangelists are willing to pay for the product. The buying process can be tested with the earlyvangelists.
- Look for people solving the problem with a homegrown solution.
- After developing the MVP features, delay new features until the MVP features are not attracting new customers.
- Gather a massive and growing audience efficiently and cost-effectively.
- Become #1 in something: product attribute, territory, distribution channel/retailer, or customer base.
- Segment the market: age, income, or region.
- Winners understand why customers buy.
- Commission Junction referrals usually $12/referral.
- grants.gov worth investigating.
- Provisional patents are good for 1 year and cheap relative to the 20-50k patent price.
- On “get out of the building” (and talk to customers): Don’t confuse motion with action. It takes a lot of meetings to generate a few meaningful conversations.
General guidelines on user engagement
- 30% of registered users will use the service each month
- 10% of registered users will use the service each day
- Concurrent users seldom exceed 10% of daily active users