How Startups Fake Their Way To Success With a New Product
An honest strategy for faking your product until you make it what it was meant to be
Bringing a new product idea to market used to be an incredibly difficult and expensive proposition. That’s no longer true. In fact, there’s pretty much a script you can follow these days.
I’ve been building and launching new products for new companies for more than 20 years. I’ve been chewed up and spit out by the “raise-and-pray” product development cycle several times. I’ve also slogged through the slow growth process of reinvesting profits back into a product over a painfully long period.
The first startup I ever founded on my own, Intrepid Media, took three years to become profitable. My latest, Teaching Startup, was profitable in three months.
The difference is I figured out how to work backwards from my vision of a successful product — all the way back to the original idea — and fake each step until I hit revenue milestones.
Here’s a high level version of the fake-it-until-you-make-it script. It’s up to you to fill in the details.
First, Prime Your Product For Success
It’s actually never been easier to bring a new product to market. For the first time ever, an entrepreneur can even legitimately start a company, launch a product and generate revenue or seek investment without risking a ton of upfront capital.
Hell, you can even start a company on what amounts to an installment plan — thanks to SaaS tools and subscription pricing models — and pay monthly as you go.
But in every single case, the end result is only going to be as successful as the quality of the idea and level of effort you put into executing it.
These days, everyone has access to all the required tools to evolve a valid business idea to a viable product and market fit. The problem is, very few entrepreneurs take the steps necessary for that evolution to occur.
So the first step is to think of success as something that your product has to first be eligible for. There are gates to that eligibility at each step on the way to product-market fit…