I just got off the phone with an entrepreneur that hit all the right points…
- Followed up on a small idea to figure out if there were any customers for his service—turned out there were more than expected.
- Worked with other startups to figure out proxies for the set of most demanded features and compatibilities—and made a plan to offer them.
- Got up and running right away—and on the cheap—to start testing the service.
- Crashed the service several times with early alpha users, leading to improved product.
- Almost as immediately, went out and started talking to all of his potential competitors, finding out where this service was on their roadmap. Even found a way to derisk competitive threat by thinking about ways to work with them.
- Now that he’s done research and has initial customer validation, he’s raising just enough to get to the next milestone—to figure out what his business strategy will be out of a limited set of scenarios that he’s narrowed down to. This will be dictated by real metrics like cost of acquisition, sales cycles, margins and capital requirements.
Color me impressed.