Lean methodology and customer development are essential for the building of a scalable and repeatable business model. Many entrepreneurs, though, find the process burdensome, time consuming, incomprehensible, counterintuitive, impossible to complete, tiresome, too personal. So, they use their entrepreneurial skills in order to avoid it altogether.
So, I decided to dedicate this blog post to those entrepreneurs who are willing to cut corners without avoiding customer development altogether. Since the majority clearly understands the essential role of lean methodology in business building, even though they do not want to do the work, I thought of putting together the Bluffer’s Basic Rules to Lean Startup.
1. Do not share your idea! Obviously, what you came up with is unique and extremely valuable. If you start spreading it before you create the product, someone will most likely steal it. So, safeguard it with your life and do not reveal it to anyone. What is the use of feedback, if someone else runs away with your precious idea?
2. Find your customers among your family and friends. Especially your mom, who always told you the brutal truth about your ideas, will certainly be among your Early Adopters! It will just take you a few invitations on facebook and a handful of quick phone calls.
3. Do not schedule more than one interview per week. I am sure you have better things to do than hunting down potential customers who do not know what they want or how to get it.
4. Do not bother with analytics. You either have very few numbers or you remember clearly which customer is coming through which channel. Besides, your instincts are the best guide, aren’t they? They always led you to the right path and helped you become rich. Who cares about numbers, when you have such a strong intuition. Instead of spending your precious time in metrics, focus on expanding your inner self.
5. Create the worse product you can think of. In fact, even a launch page maybe too much. Try to sell your product when you create your first demo. A few lines on a piece of paper will certainly persuade your EarlyVangelists to adopt it. This way, you will save a massive number of hours in building the product.
6. What is the point of running multiple tests on pricing or on your solution? Just ask you customers what they want and how much they are willing to pay for it. I am sure they have in mind exactly what they need to solve the problem and they will oblige you with the necessary details.
7. Failures cost both time and money. So, make sure you do not fail after you start you business building. In fact, the best way to avoid failure is to avoid selling until your product is absolutely perfect! You will know when you reach perfection, when your inner and infallible compass indicates it.
8. Dismiss bad news! People are known to be hurtful, malicious and jealous. They will probably try to lead you astray or conceal the truth, if they think you have a winning idea that will make you rich.
9. Start spending on marketing from Day One! There is no safer way than spreading the news of your product and creating your brand. The sooner people get to know you, the better results you are going to get.
10. Do not forget to get a sales team in place from the beginning. No matter what you spend on it, you will always get it back ten-fold… or more!
11. Delegate the aspects of the work you do not like. After all, you are the boss! This is why you left your cushy job and decided to become an entrepreneur in the first instance. Besides, there is no way you are good in everything!
12. Last but not least, do not leave your room to talk to people. Technology will help you do everything from your own house. Do not forget that if you get in public spaces, not only you will be losing time but you could also be exposed to all kinds of dangers.
I hope the above brief guide has been of help. If you feel that my guidance has been productive (in any way) send me your product for FREE! I may be one of your EarlyVangelists! Who knows?
*** In case there have been any misunderstanding, the above has been compiled in jest.