Get To Know This So Your Start Up Can Grow
We all have some great ideas in our minds or we are already working on. But sometimes we often are plagued with questions like “should I just get this idea or product (Minimum Viable Product MVP) out there or should I take my time and make it perfect?”
In this write up my purpose is to get past your mind and reach your heart so you can be able to make a decision.
Let us take a record label for example which starts with three artists. The question is “should they focus on one artist, help him perfect his art, do proper marketing and get him out there or work and send all of them at once to the market?” “What if they messed up or are not accepted by the fans?” Suppose it’s a product you have been working on or have in mind. Do we send it to the market now or do we take our time, create a sophisticated product that will add value or solve the problem it's intended? You may think that coming up with a less sophisticated product may not be the best option for your startup. This may be because of the fear that your less sophisticated will lead to a loss of trust from your customers or would-be customers. You may also think that sending a less sophisticated product (with obviously a sophisticated one in mind) into the market may aid your competitors to steal your idea, make it better, then run you out of business.
Examining the above reasons that prevent you from materializing or sending your first product into the market we must say they are quite interesting and valid to some extent.
Firstly, we will agree that coming up with a more sophisticated and great product or solution that will solve a problem or add value to people's lives takes some time, require a lot of resources and money which is a luxury most startups including yours can’t afford. For those who can afford, the question is, is it safe enough to put all resources, money and time into your product at the beginning of your existence since you are not sure it will thrive or be accepted by the prospective customers? Why not produce something less costly, send to the market and evaluate the respond of your prospective customers and proceed from there?
The second reason which has to do with the loss of trust/loyalty of your customers mostly is valid for already established companies. As a start-up, you do not have or even know who your customers are or will be. You are also not sure that your supposed idea/product/solution will be what your prospective customers will be willing to accept or pay for.
What if you take all the time and resources you have got and send to the market a well sophisticated, standard product only to find out that it is not what the people want or are willing to pay for?
Addressing the aspect of competitors stealing your idea and run you out of business, there are quite a few cases where a large already established company with a lot of human and material resources and money may “borrow” a startups idea and implement on a much larger scale and subsequently run the other out of business, for example, we will quote the money transfer business here in Cameroon which was initiated by Express Union. This idea has been better implemented with much ease by the telecommunications agencies (MTN and Orange) and they seem to be dominating the market. Who was the author of this concept is what we are not certain as of now? These are rare cases and we will ascertain with certainty that most managers of most large companies always have a lot of ideas that they won’t be perturbed by your (in your eyes only) ingenious idea to solve/add value to the lives of your customers. Also, to buttress this fact “it is universally proven that no one can implement your idea better than you.”
Most companies like Facebook, Dangote, Amazon, eBay did not send sophisticated products into the market at first try. Check the first user interface for Facebook, Twitter, Google and amaze yourself. It’s the feedback they got from the customers that enable them to develop such user-friendly and great products they have now.
Sending a less sophisticated product/solution into the market is the best option for startup since this will help them get real and valuable feedback coupled with credible reactions from supposed customers. With the information from the customers, you can make necessary alterations and modifications that will lead to a product they want and need and will be willing to pay for.
We hope with this you will be able to make a decision as to whether to produce and send your product into the market so you can learn and re-strategize.