Should you Spend Money with Market Readiness Uncertain?

Questions to ask yourself to solidify your product roadmap, your team, and your customers.

A.T. Gimbel
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October 10, 2023

Questions to ask yourself to solidify your product roadmap, your team, and your customers.

Sometimes you are one of the early players in the market. There is not a firmly established winner, the value proposition is uncertain, and you have not “crossed the chasm.” Given this situation, how much money should you be burning and how fast should you be moving?

Why is the market not ready?

The first thing you want to understand is why the market is not ready. Do they not feel a must-have problem? Do they not see the value proposition? Do they not understand the solution? Is there a structural timing (i.e. they sign three year deals and just started one so will not buy for a while)? Are partner sales required and the message is not getting to the end customer? There could be a myriad of reasons, but find out why the market is not ready.

What will help the market be ready (time, product, message, etc.)?

Based on the answer above, what will help the market be ready? That could be getting a basic workable version out. It could be this will just take time and you can marginally help but are not in control. It might require a ton of market education. It could be that there is one killer product feature that could accelerate adoption. It could be that the messaging needs to change. Spend your efforts in the area that will best help the market be ready.

What should you do?

Building too much too soon can be dangerous. Burning a ton of money before the market is ready can be a recipe for disaster. Trying to build out 20 features and then hoping they will buy it usually doesn’t work. Really focus on continuing to learn the market and the problem. While the market is not yet ready, really go deep with the core customers who are using the product to ensure they love it and you can build something that truly drives value. Better to have a smaller number of passionate customers than a larger number of unpassionate customers.

Be careful of moving faster than the market can, especially if you don’t believe you can control the market timing.

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