Don’t fixate on the mainstream users at the start. Focus on your early adopters, and you can monetize early — before you even have a product.

By Poornima Vijayashanker (Founder, BizeeBee & Femgineer)

When I was six I took my first stab at being an entrepreneur. I recruited my neighbor, another 6-year-old, and convinced her that we could become millionaires before we were 18. I could tell she was one of those sensible girls who thought I was full of hot air. So to bring it down to a level that would appeal to her sensible nature, I told her not to think about the millions, but instead to think about paying for her college education.

Call me precocious, but I knew about inflation and the rising cost of higher education.

Maya agreed to join my venture, and we got started.

Like any entrepreneur, we knew that we had to come up with an idea, and a big enough one to appeal to customers.

We ruled out services like car washing and babysitting, because, well, we were only six! People would be incredulous if we asked them to leave their precious baby or car with 6-year-olds.

Instead we decided to focus on making a product. Since we were both makers we thought about what we enjoyed making, and it turns out that we both loved eating and making popcorn balls.

The next day we started prototyping our popcorn balls. We got our families to test them out and their responses were positive. Based on their feedback we felt confident and decided that it was time to start selling these popcorn balls.

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