You Should Know Something About Your Startup

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So you have a startup. Congratulations, you and 100 million other people. Don’t worry, as 90% of new businesses fail, the field won’t be too crowded for long.

Still with me? Well, here’s the actual good news.

First, there’s a lot of people, corporations, non-profits, and governments with over $17 billion dollars of funding available to you and your team to get started. There are so many financial resources available that those big scary numbers in the first paragraph seem like small change now, huh?

The US government is in the business of throwing money at tech startups, as is the EU, and if you look around there’s a decent chance that there is a government resource you could use. There are charitable foundations named after billionaires and other people (even some that aren’t evil) to fund your nonprofit startup. In future installments I’ll be focusing on these individually and in more depth.

Second, the most common, and the saddest - and most hilarious - reason that startups fail is that they make products no one wants. This is another simple fix. Do some market research. I know that sounds insanely complicated and/or expensive. It is way easier than you’d imagine. Ask some friends, family, fake Russian facebook accounts, that homeless guy with the exploded Galaxy phone, really almost anyone can offer some insight. No, it’s not that easy. But almost.

It’s the 21st century and literally just asking friends and friends of friends on social media would get you an average sample population of… probably 300. But if you don’t want to irritate all of your friends simultaneously, Facebook has a survey function and there are several other free online survey options as well. Okay, so I can send a survey, what do I actually say? Thanks for asking, hypothetical entrepreneur with a winning smile and a great sense of humor, here’s what you do:

a. Who would your customers be? Try to describe them in demographic terms. Unleash your inner bureaucrat and check the boxes: age, income, occupation, family, education, etc. This is how you target your audience/potential customers.

b. Is there any similar service or product to yours that they buy right now? You can really stretch the connection for this exercise; this is merely base data and you’re just starting out. Fine-tuning comes later. Ask them one or two questions about it, how much is it, how often do they use/buy it, how long have they been using it, etc.

c. Why are they using this similar product? It is the price? Unique service? Color scheme? Horoscope? This is a weird one. Motivations are very personal and varied. Distinctly possible that you’ll get a great range of answers. Don’t dig too deep.

That’s it. Easy, right? Of course, I have to point out that if you followed step one that you may be able to set aside a little bit to pay for a better survey tool or even hire a professional.

Now, if you’ve made it this far I hope that you may have found this useful, informative, or at least entertaining. More is coming! Also, if I am completely off my gourd in anything I said here, or if you have further suggestions, please let me know.  


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Dipaparkan 27 Februari, 2018


Writer, communications professional

I am a professional writer and have written or ghost-written books, articles, editorials, speeches, book reviews, and memoirs. I have penned countless blog and social media posts, designed newsletters and annual reports for many years, and many, many press releases. I have years of experience creating compelling content across all platforms.

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