As a small business owner, you may have innovative ideas. But, before you invest time and money in developing them, listen to the founder of the lean startup movement, Steve Blank. He talks a lot about customer development as the key to building early-stage companies. "Instead of arguing internally about what features we need or whether or not to make the button blue, find and talk to your customers,” Blank says. “There are no facts inside the building, so get the hell outside."
Stop chasing shiny objects. Be focused and tactical about what you’re building. And, above all, always ask these three questions before starting development:
- Why are we building this?
- What’s the goal?
- What data do we have to support this?
User discovery is always the first thing you should do when starting your company. Talk to hundreds of people who have the problem you are trying to solve or who are using a similar product that you intend to improve.