One Killer Idea Can Actually Sink Your Startup
To offer a successful product, you need to build a solution bridge
How long have you been working on that one killer idea that’s going to rocket your startup into the stratosphere?
I’ve actually got a great example of my own. Just yesterday, I was out with some friends, and one of them started complaining about a problem he was having. It was a problem that was causing him to lose a good deal of money, with no exact way of knowing when and how much until it had already happened.
Awful problem to have, but it also happens to be a problem I kind of solved about eight years ago. I say “kind of solved” because my solution, as a product, failed to find market fit. It never took off.
But as my friend complained about his own experience with this problem, there was a nugget of information in the details that sparked a new take on my original idea. And so I immediately mentally moved my old project back from the dead to the top of my priority list.
Then I got home and pushed it back down a couple notches. I’ve got real work to do and the kids gotta eat.
Entrepreneurs are a persistent bunch
Let me tell you another cautionary tale about another entrepreneur friend of mine who spent six long years trying to perfect a use case and a certain set of features before launching his product. “James” was that guy who always showed up to our get-togethers talking about some new functionality he was working on, and he was always, always just a few months away from launching his product.
When he did finally launch, his product failed quietly. It was hard to get started with, hard to use, and ultimately no one wanted the damn thing. In fact, no one could figure out enough about what the product was supposed to do to decide if they wanted it or not. Including me.
The difference between James’s product and my product is the difference between falling in love with an idea and falling in love with solving a problem. As persistent as we entrepreneurs can be, it’s critical to know the difference between those two phenomena before we spend years running ourselves and our startups into the ground.