23 Jun Reading The Startup Tea Leaves
As I slowly (I mean slowly) move into my new startup venture called Take It National, I have been thinking about a series of events that have happened over the past year. Its these series of events that have lead me to this startup. So, I tell people that this startup was not our choice, but rather like a car broadsiding us as we were just sailing along.
What does “Reading The Startup Tea Leaves” Mean?
I have to say that there really is a pattern to startups in terms of success and/or failure and this is all in the data… You have to look through the real information, not the ones in your mind that can confuse you because you love an idea to death and are willing to go down with the ship on it, but rather the ideas that bring on real customers, real growth and real income.
How Do We Get There?
So, like a person who can read tea leaves, you have to sift through your tests and find out if there really is a market for your product or service. For a direct selling service like creating a gas station, there is no question of success, especially if there is a gas station across the street or 2 or 3 gas stations. This is an early sign of success, even if you have not taken action.
Other Signs Of Possible Success
So our current startup comes from tests we were not even aware of. In fact, until we had a company say to us, hey how are you doing this, taking your event businesses national? We really did not know there was a product there. First they asked, and then we presented. When we started presenting, we got lots of feedback about wanting our service in their backend. So, from this we began the process of producing a product. No hocus pocus or risk taking involved. This was simply listening and sorting through the info and taking a risk.
Astrologers Are Not Right, Most Of The Time
So, how do you get it right? It is not easy, because just one customer can say that there is a problem. Is that enough to start a business? Not really. You need more customers, more analysis, more pro formas and a complete analysis of branding and the market to really understand the opportunity. Finally you take a chance, but at this point you have done your homework, have a few potential customers and are ready to go.
Testing Is Everything
You can get lucky. But you can also just work hard and learn. No need to throw away everything with a potential loss. Early on test, test in ways you have not thought of. Call customers, ask their opinion. Seek more advice from them. Get things started and get your product out there. I have been through this a dozen times and have made my mistakes, but I think eventually I will get it right.