Creating Momentum

One common mistake I see amongst first-time entrepreneurs is being trapped with feeling of “not ready” for too long.

This is the state of mindset where you feel like your product isn’t good enough to attract your audience or think you only have one-time shot for major media coverage or press release.

My advice: Forget all that. Just ship your product and start talking to your customers ASAP.

Successful entrepreneur is good at creating momentum around himself that somehow makes people believe this product is a game changer regardless of whether the product is ready or not. He just puts out whatever he has at the moment in front of people and start talking to people to understand what they think about it.

During this process he knowingly creates sets of initial fan base aka. early adaptors who bring another thousands of users in following weeks or months. Perhaps, I must say acquiring early adaptors isn’t good enough these days any more. You will soon realize by talking to prospective investors that you will need to acquire ‘paying’ customers early on. Otherwise, you are not on table to discuss with them.

Unfortunately, founders with technical background aren’t good at this kind of things. It’s still pretty rare that they understand importance of customer development at early stage unless they read books like The Lean Startup or The Startup Owner’s Manual, and exercise what’s written there by themselves.

Particularly, CTO type of person tends to spend too much time talking about things like architecture, framework, scalability, security and so on that don’t matter with acquiring ‘paying’ customers at all. If you are that kind of person, stop doing so. Start focusing on shipping whatever you have right now. I know this because I was once that kind of person.

Second advice to students: Don’t try to learn new way to produce things. If you are engineering student and already know how to code with PHP, don’t spend time to learn Ruby on Rails or Django or Express. Just ship Minimum Viable Product with PHP and verify your idea can turn into actual business. Then, start worrying about technical stuff.

Lastly, Startup Weekend is the best place to learn what I described above from forming team to keeping momentum after the event is over. We plan to have a couple of more Startup Weekend events in our local region and will announce them as date nears.






残念ながら、技術系バックグラウンドのある創業者というのは、この手のことがあまり得意ではなかったりします。今でも、この手のことの重要性をしっかりと理解している人は稀で、それこそ The Lean Startup や The Startup Owner’s Manual のような本を読んで、そこに書かれていることを「自分の手で」実践していないとダメです。

特に CTO 型の人は、アーキテクチャー・フレームワーク・スケーラビリティ・セキュリティといったことに時間を使いすぎる傾向がありますが、これらのことは大切ではあるものの、「お金を払ってくれる」顧客と獲得することには、ほとんど関係ありません。



もし、あたながエンジニア系の学生ですでに PHP でコードが書けるなら、Ruby on Rail や Django や Express を学ぶために時間を使う必要はありません。それよりも、Minimum Viable Product (必要最低限の機能をもった製品)を出荷して、自分のアイデアが実際にビジネスに成り得るかどうか、いちはやく検証しましょう。技術のあれこれを考えるのは、その後からでも十分です。

最後に、上記のことを実践する最適な場所として Startup Weekend を紹介させてください。チームの作り方から、イベント終了後の「イケイケ感」を維持する方法まで、おそらく全てを経験できます。