I took offense to this statement in large part because of its delivery. In grad school, I was attending a panel discussion between an MIT backed startup and one of the VCs that funded them. I can't remember the exact question that I asked during the Q&A, but his sneer and tone was quite apparent as he said "your daily best isn't good enough."
It's been three years since I've traveled on a plane (thank you, global pandemic). I'm excited to say that it's back to normal. My flight from Oklahoma to NYC through Dallas was largely uneventful and packed. Travel in America is back!
I'll be speaking at a panel today at Christie's in NYC at their annual Art+Tech summit. This is a neat treat for me. I've been in the web3/crypto space for about six months but haven't had the chance to present in the way I used to during my years in the Drupal community.
Compare the following two scenarios when selling a product or service.
- Bad sales cycle: 20 steps to an ROI in 2 months, and it took 2 hours to explain.
- Better sales cycle: 2 steps to an ROI in 2 days, and it took 2 minutes to explain.
If a product is so complicated that it takes a 2-hour infomercial to explain the benefits, you have already filtered out many customers because few are willing to commit that much time.
If You Build It, They Will Come - Field of Dreams
The biggest letdown for most first-time founders is how hard it can be to find their first leads and close their first deals. They start their business with complete conviction that their product or service is fantastic, which may or may not be valid.
Two years ago, I wrote about our decision to move to Oklahoma (having spent all of 48 hours there before we put an offer in on our house). Since then, many friends and colleagues have asked the typical questions. What’s it like? Family doing well there? Knowing what you know now, would you move there again?
The last question is the easiest to answer. It’s an emphatic YES. We are so grateful to have moved here at this juncture in our lives. Our kids are happy and healthy, and it was 100% the right decision for us for them.
It’s easy to fall into traps on social media. Echo chambers. Fighting strangers. Following people that negative shitpost all day long can energetically zap you into the same negative space they are.
Or you can play by a different set of rules.
One of my favorite past-times is to find the people that do the opposite and DM them. But, it turns out that most people are not accustomed to a real human being reaching out to say thanks or that you respect their style. So when that positive DM comes through, they respond!
Entrepreneurs can become so enamored with their creations that they assume others will see what they see. The following is an embellishment, but it's a collection of actual snippets I've heard from founders over the years:
"Our product is amazing! People don't just want it. They need it! As soon as they see it, they will instantly see the value. I bet everyone will love it so much. They'll share it with their friends. And if everyone shares it with two people, we will have a viral loop, and this will take off. I bet we get to 1,000 users in a month. "
Entire industries are often multiple years (or even decades) behind the tech adoption curve. They don’t need new tech because they are not even using all the tools they have available. This Tweet by Nick Huber summarizes it beautifully:
I have very little interest in disruptive prop-tech.
90% of real estate owners still do business like it’s 1980. They are wealthy and quite lazy.
TL;DR Startup founders can get into the trap of building something so hyper-specific to themselves that it creates a barrier for potential customers.
There's something lovable about Forest Gump. His huge heart outshines his low IQ, but that's not what makes the movie so captivating. Despite being born with so little potential, he manages to stumble his way into all of these amazing life experiences that are randomly disconnected. Yet as he recounts story after story to strangers on a park bench, you can see how each one weaves into the others so beautifully. In the end, his life was never constrained by his circumstances. Instead, it continued to expand as he bumped into people and places along the way.