Taking the First Step: The Power of Getting Started in Entrepreneurship
I meet with a lot of potential entrepreneurs that have ideas. Some are well formed; others are just exploring. Some have existing jobs; others are full time on exploring starting a new business. No matter where you are in the journey, sometimes you need to just get started.
Getting started on an idea
It is easy to dream about ideas that could be billion dollar companies. We spend a lot of time in our Studio thinking through this. Sure there is some desk research you could do, but to truly vet an idea get started by talking to some potential customers leveraging The Mom Test line of questions about problems, not solutions. Start putting your learnings on paper to refine your thinking. Start outlining the business model. There are tangible steps you can take to push an idea forward and not get stuck in thinking.
Getting started on a product
If you have been getting great feedback in customer discovery, start outlining what the early product could look like (use paper mockups or your favorite tech tool). It doesn’t even have to work. But you can get more feedback from potential customers to vet authentic demand and find development partners to build it with you. Be careful building too much too soon, but once you are gaining momentum you are that much more confident in what you need to build to solve the problem 10x better.
Getting started on paying customers
A lot of entrepreneurs get stuck building the perfect product and wait too long to ask customers to pay. If they say yes, that is further validation. Even if they say no, you have still learned a lot about what else they need to see, why it is not a must-have for them, and why they don’t see the value. At some point you have to start trying to sell versus pushing it months down the road and then finding out people won’t pay (and by then you have spent way more time and money on the business).
When in doubt, just get started to push something forward. The learnings you get in the real world will far outweigh what you learn in your apartment or home office. Whether the answer is yes or no, you learn something either way!