When a startup founder can not answer the very basic question of what they are, it is not just a red flag, it can the sign of a larger psychological problem that I have come across with many startups that can ultimately lead to failure.
Startups can not fall into the trap of being everything to everybody. In fact, they can not even be one thing to everybody. They need to go further and be one thing to one group of people. This means choosing a product and choosing a market.
So how does a startup get into this “Who, Who, Who Are You?” chasm?
Well, for one thing lack of knowledge and lack of confidence. If you have been through the startup process before you realized hopefully the first time (and most likely failed) that you needed to limit what you are doing to a specific purpose and limit who you are serving.
The lack of confidence answer is easy to see. You try to not fail by being everything to everybody. Well, fail with people who you don’t care about and get out of those markets and services! Make a choice who you are going to be and live with it!
I love this bad answer: Amazon and Facebook did it, so we will! Well, stop now, or fail!
Trust me Amazon and Facebook started in a limited market with a limited product. They all start this way.
You can serve the whole world with unlimited godlike services when you are successful! For the immediate time being, you need to get the courage up to choose who you are and succeed at one thing.
So, what are you?
Make a decision.
Leave the markets that you can’t get to for now.
This perspective goes much further. It goes deep into the product and UI for tech startups. Drop all the features you don’t need. Drop all the UI extras that nobody cares about.
Less is More for a startup.
More features is baggage at this point. You can be great at one thing, but you will never be great at multiple things. You will, however, to many of your customers be a confusing product, service or thing.
Be one thing and make a choice!
What should that one thing be?
I am not sure. I am not running your business, but I would guess it has more to do with revenue than anything else.
What if you can’t find a market, for the product you have created.
Well that could be the day to end the startup, reboot and start again from scratch. You needed to figure out the market, before building the product!
Good luck and keep in touch. We are planning our next StartupPOP.com pitch event this summer. Hope to see you guys at the next event. If you have not yet signed up for our list, please sign up on the website here: http://www.startuppop.com/about-us-2/
Have a great day.