Entrepreneurship is a marathon, ran too fast to die sooner

cloud network hunting note: David Skok is one of the partners of matrix partners, as a has several experience of predecessors, he will own entrepreneurial experience. Skok tell beginners: start-up of the first step is to find the right products and the corresponding market; One more thing, want to accelerate, but first you have to slow down.

as a investors has five times the risk of entrepreneurial experience, I noticed that starting with two common errors:

a start-up company in their own growth under the condition of less than, too much attention to expand the scale of the company;

a startup when they are about to expand, not spending enough money.

the CEO’s responsibility is to decide when to hit the throttle. Sometimes, you need to spell at full speed, a positive investment, sometimes, but you have to slow down the pace of as much as possible, this needs us to specific issues specific analysis.

usually, start-up company’s CEO is a novice, what size of investment for when they do not experience. Entrepreneurs optimism that they hope to expand the scale of the company as soon as possible. Vc of the board of directors, what was supposed to be on the task of their financial decisions from the show, but try to use the wrong product, the error of markets and market timing error come out of the woods, these practices often cause big trouble.

if you want to make the investment in the right direction, the CEO needs to know the three different stages to the entrepreneurship:

to find the right products and the corresponding market;

create a scalable, repeatable sales model;

expand the scale of the company.

the company in each stage of the move will be different, we just discuss the early-stage today the first stage.

what is the product? What is the corresponding market?

at the beginning, the entrepreneur should actively look for products as well as the corresponding market, reserves, paving the way for them as much as possible. Mark Andreessen said products and the corresponding market as “the only important thing”, so, the product and the corresponding market what?

basically, start-ups needed products and the corresponding market need to meet the following conditions:

products should be enough to attract customers, make customers willing to spend money on it. Usually customers to pay cash, but sometimes it is the time. Facebook, Twitter and Google can prove this point, if the customer is willing to spend time on your product, then you opened the new income.

remember, customer base huge industry will be very promising.


Andreessen said

“when suitable products and the corresponding market is about to appear, you will feel something. How fast you launch products, customers buy the speed of how fast; The growth of the users is also as the growth of the server capacity and speed.

both inappropriate you will also notice, because the wrong product and wrong market often cause these problems as follows: customers think product without any value, nothing about your products, users not recover, news evaluation is all some talk, sales cycle is too long, a lot of transaction will never finish.”

when looking for a product as well as the corresponding market, slow down the pace of

the startup if you do not find the right products and the corresponding market, then you should concentrate on looking for, to slow down their steps of entrepreneurship, in order to give yourself enough time to complete this goal.

the best way to look for products as well as the corresponding market is in the customer before judging. Start early, before the all start for validation. In view of the product, thread block diagram of your ideas and customer demand together, constantly in the process of product development to test whether the two.

learn objective to listen, don’t let sales to become too hard. As the saying goes “advice when most needed is least heeded, entrepreneurs will only listen to what they want to hear. When customers have different opinions, entrepreneurs often says, “they just don’t understand.” It’s very good shows that entrepreneurs have not yet learned to listen.

so, for each judge yourself, ask the following two questions:

are you solve the problem is important for the customer?

a lot of the time, the company to spend money and time is often irrelevant to solve the problem. If the problem is not big, give up the job at hand, you turn to solve other problems.

your solution can solve the problem?

the solution to the customer, at the same time you also want to ask them some questions hard to answer, for example:

“is this necessary? Worth it?” “You accept this price? “Where will lower your consumption desire?”

my fourth startup called Watermark Software, when we use Software to potential customers, echo is very good, the entrepreneurial path very flat; Or even send to the New York times, contributed half a page for us. However, the product is good, but it is not essential, so we decided to sell it after ideological struggle. After two years of hard work, we found that the vertical application development is more suitable for our products, and for such programs, our products are very match. So the business a success.

we wasted a lot of money in the last two years. If we can advance our verification, we can save the money. I didn’t listen to advice, objectively now I know a good medicine tastes bitter.

slow pace Injection time

no one can predict how long it would take to find the right products and the corresponding market time. Want to grasp the success of the biggest opportunity, to try to maintain reserves. In other words, the water out.

under ideal conditions of entrepreneurial teams should include entrepreneur, product development team and sales staff, one or two such groups to entrepreneurial idea is passed to the customer, that’s it. Entrepreneurs is most suited to interact with the customer, determine the test is valid, and can learn from the failure. This is the key task of entrepreneurship, not easily delegated to others.

a vast r&d team is very effective for fast into the market. There are very few products can widely and quickly accepted, go through several versions to find the right products and the corresponding market. You will experience is a marathon not a sprint, so adjust the pace of you.

there should always be exceptions to the rule, in some cases, you are looking for the product and the corresponding market time will be shorter, for example you recruit a have scarce skills of employees.

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