Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.
Entrepreneurs are made outside the building, not between four walls.
I interact with at least 20 entrepreneurs or wannabe entrepreneurs on a monthly basis working at Tapptitude. What differentiates the two? You might say a couple of things – expertise, traction, team, or funding. They are all valid reasons; however, there’s one thing entrepreneurs can’t be called “entrepreneurs” without: the connection with the market.
Their product should be built for a relevant purpose. For a relevant market. For a relevant need.
What do I mean by that?
- Relevant purpose. What’s the founder’s motivation behind building that product? In order to successfully go through the struggles of building a product (which I reckon are now just a few), founders need a strong(er) “why” (than getting rich, for instance).
- Relevant market. Founders have to know exactly who they’re creating stuff for. Hint: “For everyone” is not a good answer. You might say everything is relative and there are always exceptions – but do you really want to be so scattered that you’re everywhere, but nowhere?
- Relevant need. Founders should know exactly what’s keeping their customers awake at night as well as what the role of their solution might be. A product must integrate within the customers’ current lifestyle. If you might think reinventing the wheel in terms of product is possible (mixed feelings about this), reinventing the wheel in terms of humans’ needs is far from the reality I see.
The product should be, if ever built, built wisely.
“The archetypal entrepreneur is a twenty-year-old kid who lucks into a brilliant idea in their mom’s basement and watches it turn into a thriving company overnight.” (T. Fadell)
In reality, as Tony Fadell emphasized in his book, most entrepreneurs become entrepreneurs after much trial and error in pursuing their obsession to solve something meaningful. After learning and relearning what works and what doesn’t. After testing what works and what doesn’t. After trying to sell what works and what doesn’t. After actually selling what works and what… works.
Entrepreneurs that stand real chances to build something impactful are made outside the building.
Products are made outside the building, as counter-intuitive as it might sound.
During our Product Definition Phase, we always start by exploring the Problem Space. It is crucial to have a deep understanding of the customer’s issues before jumping into solutions.
While the gym helps in building the muscles, the kitchen is the place where you either “encourage” or “discourage” those abs to be seen.
While the four walls help with focused work time and reflections, the outside world makes and keeps your product relevant.
C’mon, go out and leave a mark on your customer’s life, now.