Those entrepreneurs who were toiling in a job for a long period of time (see my article on Why Women Become Entrepreneurs), those who just decided to break the shackles and pursuit the life of the CEO or Founder of a new business, often make a crucial mistake that leads to failure: They focus on the product, instead of focusing on the business.
When you worked in a 9 to 5 job, you probably had to comply to the rules and regulations of your company. These included targets and quality controls that were regularly reviewed. As any good worker would do, you focused on the highly quality of your product or service and its timely delivery. However, in a startup this is a recipe for disaster.
If you focus on creating the perfect product, you will not have enough time to develop the business. You will take care of the details, while you will be missing the boat to heaven. You will look at the tree and miss the forest. I can go on and on like that until you get the point.
You need to pay attention more to the big picture in order for your business to survive. This means that you should start immediately trying to find customers. It does not matter, if your product is not ready for the market. It does not matter, if it has all (or none of) the features you envisaged. It does not matter, if you think it will satisfy your future customers. It just needs to satisfy a small segment of your current customers.
The handful of people who will be willing to buy your product in its unfinished form, will give you the feedback to complete the job in a way that will bring more profits in the future. Perfectionism may be an excellent way to get promoted in some large companies but it is a ticket to failure in a young startup.
So, stop tinkering and get out of the building to find customers!
If you want to know more about the Most Common Excuses to Avoid Customer Development, do not hesitate to read my article. If you need further help, you can always contact us or get one of our coaching packages that aim specifically on customer development.
For more information on lean startup methodology, you could take a look at my other blog posts.