By Eric Cantor (Participant, Founder Labs)
The brainstorms flow, the sketches come together with a final flourish, and the engineers reason through how the database schema can be perfectly laid out. But the tough news for most potential startups comes when they “get out of the building” and go find out if the product fits the market. Who are you serving exactly? Do they really want it badly enough to engage with it in these crowded times where there are 5 apps for everything? What problem are you solving? These questions and more needed to be answered as we intensify the Customer Development (“CustDev”) process during week 2 of Founder Labs.
Getting Out of the Building
The emerging movement around Lean Startup methodology embraces the agile, nimble, incremental build of a product, starting with a clear focus on customer needs and navigating the way to a business model and an ecosystem. This focus on solutions and customers, rather than technology or product, is one I’ve always followed, and has served well in a variety of sectors and segments including my last few years of work in Uganda, where rapid prototyping was a critical step in everything we attempted.