Adam’s post reminded me of two attempts I made a few years ago. I was armed with bookish knowledge like "110% committment, focus on core sk….". So much for those "wisdoms".
I was raring to go 2 years post-bachelors with "cyberspace" heating up. #1 was a web design gig and #2 was eSuele: somewhat like CardVio.
My mistakes on #1 were endless: overpaid the sales guy for the one and only deal he secured, never learnt HTML beyond using FrontPage, spent moolah on business cards but had no elevator pitch and barely acknowledged the competitive landscape.
Mistakes on #2 were endless as well: over-engineered the design, made no effort in identifying the end-user, zero sales focus and believed my parent’s notion that I was a smart kid doing some cool stuff.
I think the holy grail to us/entrepreneurs is to ask "Who is the end-user?". Why? Well, had I realized that small business was my target for eSuele, then I’d have known where to start selling (I recall my fatal "build-they-will-come" move), designed a powerful yet sleek application and delpoyed it as an ASP/SaaS rather than as a download.
At work recently, I asked this question. It felt like our focus was on the end-end-client. Wrong move. I built out a new PPT deck that better reflects our value propositions. Thats will be another post soon.
So now when I write a document, whitepaper or PPT, craft our sales strategy or interact with a client, I find myself asking the question – "Who’s the end user?". I think, certeris paribus, we should be able to figure out stuff. In my mind, this question is ranked above all else.