Remember the days when you take pictures on your camera and then use the negatives to get your photos developed? Do you remember the company that specialized in this effort? Kodak right? Yes Kodak is long gone and will be remembered forever with their special moments tag line. It started in 1888 and it’s 100 year old company – the lifespan of companies is now dwindling down to nearly 10-15 years because the disrupters are getting disrupted.
If you are trying to start a company and you are hoping to go big – just remember even the big players are out of the game after a good 10-15 years. They aren’t big as they seem to be – and usually after some time they will end up getting bought out or exit or just die.
Companies aren’t lasting as long and sometimes after the funding is gone – so are they. Most of the startups I have worked with have a desire to last forever and be a legacy but in a technological world that is ever-changing it is not possible for that to happen. New technology is always going to evolve – competitors will get more efficient. If your product or service is low barrier to entry, it just makes the situation worse.
This is why you want to lean towards solving a big problem because big problems yield big incomes even with shorter life spans within the company. If your goal this year is to become an IPO – then focus on the particular goal and innovate fast.
So many startups just look to renovate instead of innovate and it makes it tough for them to have a big share of the market when their competitor has taken them by a storm. When you innovate you are taking a bigger risk but you can avoid the risk by having a valid prototyping. The goals of prototyping is feedback and failure. You want to get your product in front of people so they are able to see all of its benefits — but all its flaws and failures as well. Prototyping a product will help you create the very thing your audience wants to buy.
When testing your prototype, focus on two things: create a focus group that summons all your buyer personas, and — create a feedback providing system that you’ll be able to work with. Do not ask them “if they like it” — a like is impulsive. Ask them if it makes their lives easier/more fun/more efficient (whatever your product should be doing), how they imagine using it, did they think of someone else who may use it when they saw it — questions like these will help you understand how well your target audience is connecting with your product.
If they take it to a personal level of emotion, it means that they could really get attached to it. Thinking of your mom and how she’d love this device provides way more insights than ‘it’s really cool, sure I’d use it’.
Should you plan big and don’t intend to let your company vanish in a decade — if it’s a success, customer delight approach can help you do your best. Maintaining a good relationship with clients means getting righteous insights about your product performance. You’ll always be the first to hear what segment of your product could be performing better — straight from those who have been using it on a daily basis. Add continuous market research to that, and you’ll be able to keep up the pace of cutting-edge technology and maintain your clients by fulfilling their wishes regarding your product and it’s use.
Ever had this dilemma: Self-Worth vs. Net-Worth? What should you focus on, and why? Read on.