Month: October 2013

“Your business plan is moot. You don’t know what people really want until you start doing it.” – Derek Sivers

The business plan will NOT convince the customer to buy your product.  You don’t get to decide.  They do.  The customer discovery process will help you start with the most important things first but the only way to really know is to start selling something…quickly and as cheaply as possible.

Read “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers


“The trouble with success is, you can’t stop doing what made you successful.” – Dan Wieden

I love my records and still play them.  They still work fine and sound much better than MP3 files.

But markets change.  Technologies change.  Economies change.  What works now likely will not work later and the rate of change today is maddening.

The customer discovery process never ends.  It’s the only way to stay on top of what is changing.  The next thing may not be as good as the last but it doesn’t matter if people stop buying the best in favor of the hip or more convenient.

Talk to your customers every week.  Plug that learning into your plans for what’s next.

Dan Wieden was a panelist at the 2013 SSTI Conference

“Being overeducated does not require that I know how to do everything. It is sufficient to know whom to ask!” – Jerry Carlson

Who’s that patent attorney you met at your last demo day?  There was this guy who does 3 D printing… what was his name?

You know those business cards you accumulate at some entrepreneurial mixer?  Where do those end up… in a stack on your desk or perhaps in file 13?

Find a cheap or free contact management system with tags and categories.  Have the discipline to put these people into it; even though you think you may never call them.

Your network is a very valuable resource.  Take care of it.

“By not having any money to waste, you never waste money.” – Derek Sivers

This is a great thing about startups.  When every dime is precious, and if it’s your dime, you tend to be very efficient with capital.

This should never change once you have acquired other people’s money (OPM).

They have invested in you because you have convinced them your idea will provide them with a return.

Make sure you choose the right funding partners and when you do, take care of them.  Take care of their money.  Treat like it’s yours.  Provide them with a return.

Everyone get’s to eat before the cook.

This quote is from Derek Sivers “Anything You Want”.  Get it.  Read it. Share it.

“Gold is everywhere but it’s very rare” – Barry Goss

Understanding customer value is like panning for gold.  Of course once in a while you find a nugget of consequence but most of the time you have to collect a little dust here and there.  After a while, it adds up.

You can’t just ask 10 people what they think about your idea and then go raise funding.  If it were my money, I’d want evidence that you have interviewed a hundred or more.    Better yet, sell a prototype to a hundred or more.

Gold pans are cheap… 10 bucks or so.  And it’s designed to do the one most important thing, pan for gold.

So it is with your prototype.  Make it fast, make it cheap and give it to lots of people.

That’s where the gold is!