Entrepreneurs Need Immediate Value, Not Maximized Engagement
Teaching Startup minimizes time to value in the search for answers
You can’t treat entrepreneurs like average, everyday human beings — for a lot of reasons — but mostly due to the fact that they are constantly, perpetually, and stressfully pressed for time.
I’m not putting entrepreneurs on any sort of “busier-than-thou” pedestal, nor trying to elevate what they do as the solution to all humankind’s problems. I just know, from over 20 years of experience starting and running companies, that time in my biggest enemy.
So when offerings are introduced that intend to provide solutions for entrepreneurs in their quest to build a better and more successful company, I’m always frustrated by the time commitment required to get to the answer. This is especially true in startup, a domain where there’s always a greater-than-normal chance that the answer given is not going to apply to the founder’s unique idea, strategy, or execution.
When I use the term “solutions for entrepreneurs,” I’m talking about the entire universe of startup help:
- It could be outside investment, where it can take months to close a round.
- It could be build, where the common advice — “learn to code” — conveniently glosses over the year-long learning exercise before the founder can bring an MVP of their idea to a blindingly-fast-moving market.
- It could be advice and education, where weeks-long or months-long courses or programs spend a large chunk of time educating a founder on concepts they already know or functions they’re going to hire in anyway.
Organizations whose mission it is to help entrepreneurs build better and stronger companies can’t treat entrepreneurs like your average, everyday customer. And that means they can’t measure the value of their solution in engagement.
No matter what you’re offering the entrepreneur, the longer you keep that entrepreneur engaged, the more time you’re taking away from their race against the clock to build something successful.
When I founded Teaching Startup, one of the values I built on is something I call “time to value.”
I want Teaching Startup to minimize the time it takes for an entrepreneur to get the answer they need to build a better and stronger company. I’ve spent years going down varying roads of experimentation — I tried a podcast, I spent a semester coaching at an MBA-level entrepreneurship program, I’ve been and still am a traditional advisor and mentor.
What I settled on is an answers-on-demand product that works on the entrepreneur’s time, not mine. If my “customers” aren’t engaged, that’s fine. I want them in and out, to get the answers they need and apply those answers ASAP. I have to put engagement, community, even marketing and feedback, on the back burner while I focus on creating value and reducing time to value.
The funny thing is, all the engagement, community, even feedback — it all creates itself indirectly. That taught me a valuable lesson that I can share with you:
Engagement doesn’t imply usefulness. Usefulness breeds engagement. Be careful that you’re not measuring the wrong KPI.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking for answers, please try Teaching Startup for up to 30 days for free. Use invite code TIME and we’ll also cut the cost of your first paid month in half. Oh, the other thing Teaching Startup needs to be is affordable, and I believe we nailed that at just $10 a month.