Product Focused Panel Discussion
Today at Wework we had a Product focused panel. Here are Mick Liubinskas’ advice for entrepreneurs:
1. In Australia, you don’t have the severe competition you have in SF. You don’t have the whole world trying to get there and compete with you. Here from all over the world, companies come here. That means you need to be ridiculously product focused.
2. You want to become a manopoly but the smallest monopoly possible.
3. Something that is not very well known: Investors here want the phone numbers of three real customers and they want to talk to them. If all three of your customers tell them “yes I was in pain and I’m not anymore”, they’ll give you a cheque. They are not interested in features, the core is what’s important.
4. Be impatient for action (build it, put it out there, work hard, experiment, etc.) but be patient for results. Don’t expect to see results the next day and don’t just keep adding features to try and fix it.
5. The smaller the set of customers you have, the better.
What an investor would love to really see here is that I have 1000 customers in one segment that really really love me, and there are another 1000 segments that I can expand into.
6. Sell before you build. At least in part. Know as much as possible about whether someone is on fire (is really in pain and needs a solution i.e. water) and wants your solution.
7. How can you engineer your product to only let small groups of people in? Don’t be afraid of ridiculously small markets. Think of how Facebook only allowed people with a Harvard email address in.
Facebook engineered focus into their product and that’s how they beat Friendster (even thought Friendster had millions of user and $20m in funding).
8. Successful entrepreneurs make all the mistakes before they run out of all resources which are: enthusiasm, patience, money ect. Speed is everything. Being a perfectionist is a weakness.
And Chris from the panel added:
1. Optimise for smiles. Weather you’re smashing code at night or talking to a customer, get someone to smile. Do little things to win. You need to do stuff to keep getting yourself smile because the journey is too long and hard so if you don’t have small wins, you’ll burn out.
2. You have to give a shit and get things done.
3. Read the book “start with why?”