Be honest: is your product really the best?

    It is important for any startup and entrepreneur to understand the phenomenon that Brad Feld calls the “Product Illusion”. Mark Saster, vice chairman of Upfront Ventures, writes that he was already tired of asking entrepreneurs the same question:
    Is your product really different? Are users addicted to it? Will we make their life better? Can we fight for their minds every time they turn on their phone or computer?

    Many companies quickly rose to the top Google, after which they quickly fell from there due to any changes. It is not so important to be in the search engine, how to convince customers to access your pages directly.


    The success of a startup at an early stage of its development is often misleading. A startup is booming around the world, flashing on the pages of online publications, attracting money and inflating like a bubble , after which it naturally bursts. Investor Bill Gerley is convinced that in Silicon Valley, companies that simply lose money employ far more people than they did in the past fifteen years. And this is also due to a large amount of money in the venture investment market.

    One of the approaches of startups to advertising is the viral distribution of information about their product, an attempt to attract as many customers as possible through spam messages. Such tactics will only work with a truly great product. Remember the popular games where you can find friends and compete with them? Words With Friends, Angry Birds, Clash of Clans. True, the developer of "evil birds" lasted only a couple of years at the peak, after which Rovio's profit decreased by half and the company had to fire people.

    Representatives of e-commerce can use the same approach, spending huge amounts received from several investors to attract new customers. But if customers do not like the brand, do not return to it again and again, all this money wasted. Hence the conclusion - the product must have value, must satisfy the need better than the analogue, otherwise it will fail in the market.

    How is success measured? Determine the answer to this question for your business, advises Mark Saster. Find a way to measure your success and focus on it. Do not use the numbers that performers like to sin to satisfy the client in order to convince themselves of a job well done.

    Look at the biggest high-tech startups. Xiaomi sells great smartphones half the price of its competitors and has become the third smartphone manufacturer in just five years. Uber in 2009 helped taxi drivers and private traders find customers more easily. Palantir turns unstructured data into easy-to-read maps and charts to search for criminals. SpaceX builds and launches rockets into space. Is there an analogue of your product on the market? Is your project really the best? Could you put it on a par with these startups? Be honest with yourself.

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