Finding Authentic Demand
A.T. Gimbel shares about finding authentic demand and some indicators you’re on the right path.
A confidence that you can build an amazing business and create incredible value
As an entrepreneur trying to solve a problem, one of the first things that leads you to believe you are solving a real, must-have problem is when you find authentic demand. Sure you could build a business without it, but that business will inevitably take longer to grow, have higher churn, lower growth, and can fail quicker. When you find authentic demand, you are that much more confident you can build an amazing business and create incredible value to your customers. So what is authentic demand and what does it look like?
Simply, there is pent up demand from potential customers for a solution to their problem. They already know the problem and pain exist, but have not yet found the right solution despite trying several options (internal/external, tech/non-tech, etc.). When you are having customer discovery conversations, they are leaning in and asking for more. The conversation does not feel like you are pulling teeth to get them interested. Here are a few examples of what that could look like:
- During customer discovery, conversations quickly evolve to questions like: When is it available? Where can I get it? How much does it cost?
- If you put up a simple landing page with a description of the problem solved and value added, clicks, signups, and engagement metrics from unaffiliated customers are an amazing indicator.
- Customers will sign up to pay for the product without the product being built yet; they will offer to build it with you by providing feedback in the development process.
The best part is you can test authentic demand without spending any money to build anything. If your potential customers have a big, mission critical problem then you will uncover that pent up frustration during customer discovery. With authentic demand, you can then work towards building together with development partners, getting your first paying customers, and finding and maintaining the ever changing product-market fit. Spending the time up-front to find authentic demand is a must-have!
As we start new businesses from scratch out of our Atlanta Ventures Studio, even if we don’t find authentic demand with an idea that is okay; we can then pivot more quickly to the next idea!