Never deliver the perfect product. It will be too expensive and take too long. Even if you do a lot of market validation, the only way to know how the market will respond is to put your product in their hands as soon as possible.
A good strategy is to target essential features from your market validation, launch the product and get feedback and iterate quickly.
One of my all time favorite business quotes is from Drucker and goes, “The purpose of the business is to have a customer.” This is the direct follow up in sort of an “if, then” setup.
Innovation is the fun, exciting and invigorating part of entrepreneurship, especially for the technology based startup. It’s temping to believe that if the app is cool enough, it will sell itself. Business history is littered with examples of where the best technology did not win. Xerox never realized the benefits of success of many of its stellar innovations because they chose not to market them.
Marketing is the communication of your value proposition to your customers. It should commence early, long before the product is ready for beta. The feedback you get will help you not only develop a cool technology, but it will also help you develop the product people will buy.
The marketing/innovation balance should be at least 50/50.
Knowing what customers want before they do is an amazing talent. The iPod was not the first portable music player, nor did it have the most “features”. But it changed the world. Few people knew what the iPad was when it hit the market. It was a pretty expensive “electronic book reader”. And yet it is changing the world.
Not everything Apple does is a run away hit but the batting average is off the chart.
Value proposition is about solving problems in a market at a price customers are willing to pay. Apple has changed that formula to include the concept of customer delight. Therein, lies the secret.
“Patronum vestra” (know your customer)