Finding "Real" Business Ideas
We're exploring adding a new service line at Draft.dev, so I'm working on customer development again. After a few months away from sales and account management, it's been fun to get back into it and talk to customers again.
These conversations have made me reflect on how many first-time entrepreneurs get stuck looking for ideas.
Most would-be entrepreneurs know they should talk to potential customers, but many ask the wrong questions once they get on the phone. The biggest mistake I see is asking:
"Would you pay for X?"
or some variation of this.
The problem with asking people what they would pay for is that it isn't really a priority. If it were, they would already be paying for something, even a subpar solution. So, the right question is:
"What do you currently pay for that you're unsatisfied with?"
Every startup should sell something that solves a problem. If that problem is already known and the customer spends money trying to solve it, you just need to be a better option.
I wish this were a wholly original idea, but I borrowed it from, The Mom Test, a fantastic little book about coming up with real business ideas. If you're in the idea phase, it's definitely worth a read.
Breaking Down the Marketing Funnel in B2B
In 1898, businessman and psychologist E. St. Elmo had an idea: what if customers moved toward a purchase decision in a funnel rather than a straight line? The first ever marketing funnel was born, and with it a foundation that marketers would follow for more than 100 years. The concept was simple – customers would move through several stages of affiliation with a brand, and gradually come closer to making a final sale.
How I took my SaaS from idea to sold in 14 months
I always enjoy these micro-acquisition stories. It makes small-time entrepreneurship seem so much more do-able.
How to Excel in Tech Without Learning to Code
"You can think of it just like playing an instrument. There’s a big difference between being able to strum a few chords on guitar and being able to rip out a gnarly solo. Both are great, and utility purely depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Technical literacy is no different. You don’t have to learn how to code to benefit from knowing what code is and how it gets written."
What's the deal with all those weird wrong-number texts?
"As has now been pretty extensively documented, they’re a key revenue stream of large hierarchical fraud businesses based in Southeast Asia. Worse, the scammers who initiate conversations with victims — are often workers from around the region, tricked into indentured servitude, held captive in dormitories and offices, and beaten by the managers and bosses."
Reconsidering Career Optionality
The average ambitious person spends too much time accumulating optionality and too little time taking actual risks with high upside potential...the bigger risk is not that you fail, it's that you don't get enough actual shots on goal to do something amazing.
What we learned in studying the most effective founders by Google
"The most effective founders are not nearly as confident as the least effective founders are...For some, that self-doubt comes as a setback. If that’s you, remember it is likely a signal of growth, and not of inevitable failure."