I have been fortunate enough to be sought out by a number of folks who are looking for someone to lead their early stage tech companies and I have seen some consistent practices that I wanted to address here generically for anyone in the tech/software space.
Things Change! Always! If you are not moving forward you are moving backwards as a business. Be honest with yourself on where you are at and what is happening in your world. It is the only way to actually FIX what is wrong and survive and thrive moving forward. It is easy to naval gaze and convince yourself that everything is ok…DON’T! EVER! It isn’t ok.
If it is not you then someone is talking to your customers, understanding their problems, their pains, their needs and wants and then building good shit to simply and elegantly solve that problem.
Whether you are starting up or already launched or more mature you MUST continue to act like a start up and reinvent and disrupt yourself. If you don’t do it, it will be done To YOU and you will slowly die on the vine.
Before you build product, before you add features or functions, before you release…go talk to your customers to ENSURE they give a shit about what you are doing. There are many ways to get product market fit. Just search the net for ample stories and assistance.
I’ve had too many conversations and meetings lately where all people want to talk about is how cool their product is or what awesome UI they have or, or, or. But if I push and probe on the whys? the for who’s? the what did they specifically tell you’s? the how did they say it? the did they preorder? it becomes painfully clear that they haven’t been outside of the office to do validation.
Market first, product second. Product is important and can make or break you, please just sequence them in the right order so you don’t risk spending countless dollars (of yours or worse other people) and weeks, months, years of your life building something that will quickly or slowly die.