My journey as a #startup #founder – step 6 – @founding

Step 6 – when the going gets rough…

I took me some time to decide to write this post… I think I just went through my first air pocket and although I had planned to write on Tuesday evening after our session, I was simply not up for it… too much to do, too stressed, not just willing…

Tuesday’s session did not go fundammentally wrong. Ok, there was a bit of shock to realise that more then 50% of the class had dropped out – the names of friends and new contacts made over the last two sessions had started to disappear from the leaderboard over the pas few days. But this was the first meeting where those who are still in the game were coming together. So big round of applause for the 10 of us who have decided to push forward! Teams were reschuffled and new Working Group presidents chosen where necessary, and life goes on.

Having had time to prepare my Hot Seat presentation this time, I was relatively more confident when standing in front of the mentors/coaches, but perhaps with a bit too much confidencel and I spent more time than expected on my first point… A quick check at the time counter showed me that I was 10′ second behind on my timing, and with 20′ to go I just got stressed and I blotched the second part which was supposed to cover my ability to deliver… well, that was clearly not the case… big disappointment.  

Lesson learnt: when you think you are ready, you are not, so rehearse again, until you are truly ready.

I will have another opportunity next week to deliver the “same” pitch as the Hot Seat presentation covers the same topic. Obviously nobody expects this to be the same pitch, but rather a better pitch! The comments fro the mentors were very useful and I will integrate these in my next version. It’s going to be awesome. I will tape myself while I practice, so I can cross-check the delivery and how it comes across. It’s going to be terrific.

The theme of the week is Market Research and Customer Development. We had two great talks from mentors on this two subjects. I was particularly impressed by those two slides below: 

Minimum Viable Product has to be Minimum Loveable Product, and that means that you should focus on more than just the functional aspects of it, because clients have to also fall in love with the product. So we will need to take this into account when building our MVP. My co-founder will love this chart because he keeps telling me about how important it is to engage with design, even at this early stage! So thanks Marcus Kahn for showing this slide.

You need to be talking to clients, real paying clients, not friends or family as they have a natural biais to support your idea and dont want to disappoint you by telling you you idea sucks… OMG, I just realised that I have been primarily talking to friends and family… So, I need to change my approach, to get validation on my idea. Again, thanks for showing this before I start getting into the meat of my customer validation surveys. I will now aim to find “victims” not directly linked to me, so I can try to mitigate this bias.

The rest of the assignment is about Market Research where we need to quantify our market and identify competitors, alive and kicking, but also those that have fallen before us and where possible try and engage with them, so we dont repeat their mistakes and learn from their experience. 

It’s getting really busy and very interesting.

Stay tuned!


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