The Problems With Startup Material

Influencing, Affecting, And Hindering Startups & Founders

You’ve got a startup idea, but you’re not sure what to do.

You know it’s down to the execution, but what are you meant to execute? How do you know that what you’re doing, is what you should be doing?

You will have read many books, listened to podcasts, got hold of guides, tool-kits and frameworks to aid you.

SCRATCHING YOUR HEAD

Instead Of Scratching Your Itch

How many times have you sat there wondering what you should work on now? And when working on something, how do you know that now is the right time to work on this?

How Credible Is Your Validated Data?

When you have the Lean-aholics clinging to strict interpretations that lack the spirit of the original message, then you have to question the credibility of the results from those experiments. What’s the point in doing a bare minimum hacked MVP when what you are offering is already in the market via a plethora of competitors? If you are bringing no UVP to the market, no uniqueness, then why are you wasting time when the market is validated? Furthermore, idealised notions of Lean oblivious to the passage of time and what that means in regards to minimum and viable have their own problems.

When you have the redefinition of MVP to include landing pages with pictures of a mock product, then again you need to question the credibility of this experiment. Ignoring that this is no way an MVP, because you have no P, then granted, it’s a test to validate market demand. But if you don’t know how to sell it, not even sure what you are selling, don’t know who you are targeting, don’t know the channels, the content needed on that channel, the targeting factors on that channel, and the many other things that will influence the sole thing you think you are testing. With so many unknown things this is a dubious experiment. The type of dubious experiment Dr.Frankenstein would give an arm and a leg for.

Question when you:

  • Interview so few people while failing to take into account the many factors that could mean this batch may not be representative of the whole.
  • Think a problem has to be just the most intense, what about the other facets that need to be present?
  • Have non-domain investors scrubbing the nuances from your positioning.
  • When you have successful founders oblivious to the serendipitous nature of their success, that they may as well be recommending to you to get the “eye of a newt and the wool of a bat”.
  • When you are asking for feedback, from those who have no domain experience, and in some cases very little experience outside of their own domain.

When your traction is friends and family, what do you think you should do? Ok, if your startup is a friends and families app, good job on the traction.

Take nothing at face value, we all have our own agendas, our own experiences, biases, foibles, blind-spots, etc. Question s**t. Question me, question what I say. I have done enough screw ups, bone headed, numb-skull brain dead things, that I question me, frequently. Few heated arguments. Maybe even some fisticuffs. No, not that type of fisticuff.

The answers I have, work for me at the moment. But they are my answers. For you, what I have are questions, and that is what Startizer is about. Asking the questions so you can get your answers with a greater degree of credibility. If you are doing the aforementioned things, the credibility of your data, of your conclusions, of your next step, is questionable.

Startups Fail. No S**t. And Some Of The Material You Use Isn't Helping.

UNUSABLE LEVEL OF DETAIL

Where's The "How-To" Bit?

Inspirational fluff, and the endless anecdotes, alongside bullsh*t instructions like ‘now do some marketing’. And at the other end, a philosophers wet-dream with an insane amount of detail, drowning in paralysis.

YOU TOO CAN GET THE SAME RESULTS

But More Context Changes The Frame

Actionable processes that leave vital contextual information out. Without context; you are unable to attain comparable results. And when you do get the context, you realise comparable results were never on the cards.

Excessive Focus On The Product

STARTUPS FAIL FOR MANY REASONS

And Not Just No Market Need

No market need is only one reason, yet we have lop-sided product based approaches. What about the other landmines? You’ll have to navigate past them as well.

FOUNDERS WEAR MANY HATS

Research Hat, Marketing Hat, Sales Hat, Jimmy Hat...

You know you have to make something people want. But you also have to make people want something. Each hat is a career in it’s own right, but you’ll have to wear them all.

Not Fully Taking The Effects Of Time Into Account

Ship Early And Minimum

Oblivious To The Passage Of Time

Markets evolve, competitors multiply and audiences expect more. You can ship too early. Take into account the passage of time, and that minimum is a rising expectation we have to meet.

Getting Out Of The Building Too Soon

Fishing Instead Of Experimenting

An open mind doesn’t mean an empty mind, otherwise you won’t have the context to appreciate what you find. Some facts are undoubtedly outside the building, but you need to go to the right people, and probe in the right manner with solid hypotheses.

Undoubtedly Fantastic Stuff Shared By A Few

BRILLIANT ACTIONABLE STUFF

But Narrow In Scope

Fantastic resources shared by brilliant minds that go deep, but are narrow in scope. So you’re putting a jigsaw puzzle together, not knowing if the parts contribute correctly to the targeted whole.

SCATTERGUN TACTICS

Not Contained Within An Overall Strategy

A lack of congruency between macro and micro-goals, can result in doing tasks that don’t lead to the desired objective, or even lead you astray. Like hacks and tactics that have no relevance and won’t contribute to the defined strategy.

Which Can Lead You To

Blindly Copying Tips & Tactics, And Not Getting Similar Results
Prematurely Implementing Hacks So You Cut Out What You Need To Know
Inappropriate Methods So You're Trying To Run Before You Can Walk

There Are A Few Holistic Resources

That Cover Idea To Launch

Although upon closer inspection they are gateway collateral into an ecosystem of videos, courses, workshops, worksheets, etc, that enables the holistic approach. Collectively, you can call it a system.

But Are They An Interconnected Automated System?

A system that helps you create your funnel, that helps you produce the content you need to gain traction? A system that aids you to setup strong foundations, retention over growth at this stage? A system that takes into account the aforementioned problems?

Where Do You Keep Your Validated Data?

Online and offline drives, documents, spreadsheets, to-do apps, project management apps, wiki’s, the list is long. You may even be using multiple SaaS solutions, incompatible pieces monstorously stitched together, your FrankenSaaStein if you will. But your data is scattered, spread out, separated.

Do You Know The Many Places Validated Data Could Be Used?

You’re meant to learn in this stage, but the application of what you learn is diminished, plagued by inefficiencies, and riddled with confusion. You have data that is not being utilised to it’s full potential. The maximum value from your data is not being obtained.

Don't Scratch Your Head Like You Got Nits

No, Scratch Your Itch Like You Got Fleas