Top ten mistakes
10. Being a wuss about incremental gains and releases (Perfect is the enemy of good)
9. Belief that you’re always going to be the CEO (Noam)
- Company stages
8. Taking bad advice (Gary Ritner story)
- Have they done it before, are they truly credible
- Don’t ask me about your dev plan or choice of platform
- Not enough data points (the dangerous rock star successful founder)
- Not deep enough, advising beyond their expertise (financial advisor, accountant, attorney)
7. Won’t break-up with your business plan (run the business, move away from the planning stage)
- Not Business plan, PPT Deck, Vision
- Is sales pipeline, next release, customer objections, customer sat issues
- The love affair needs to end
6. Failure to embrace the stair step approach to sales (today’s model needn’t be tomorrow’s)
- Findood example with telesales, same with LP - led to direct sign-ups
- MBS sell data first then marketplace
- BeDynamic manual data updates and aggregation, slowly automate
5. A 10% improvement won’t displace the market leader (need a radical change like LP or MG).
- So many new browsers or social networks
- LP – social, SAAS, recognizes how people work
- MG – stats
- CEC – first innovation in 50 years
- Escapia – SAAS allows real-time booking
- DMP – SAAS allows constant data updates and data aggregation biz plus collaboration (drug bust)
- Findood – first online market maker in market
4. A better business model isn’t and even if it is, it’s not enough.
- Deals that will beat LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Google because they charge the model.
- Deal that would beat eBay because listings were free but they charged the buyer.
- The incumbent probably considered your model. They may have tested it. They have more resources and better market intelligence and they’ll copy if its better.
- Even so, an improved model won’t generally be enough to attract the millions of users you need.
3. Following the herd (web 2.0 – in contrast, Second Ave’s win with a drone, our wins with CEC, Expertcity, RVM. Big wins are either early in a trend (early dot-com etailers, early social networks) or are just different).
2. Failure to understand the market
- You’re not the market and even if you’re typical, you’re only a data point.
- Get out and sell, pre-sell, and don’t just talk to your mom.
1. Listen, really listen to the critics. Like the bunny says: It’s not them, it’s you. Don’t brush them off.