Entrepreneurial Success

Here are some ideas I’ve been capturing about entrepreneurial success that might interest you:

For business-to-consumer (B2C) apps, getting 3 million sign-ups only suggests things are just getting “interesting” from a venture capital point of view. The bigger issue is continued use and adoption of the app (stickiness) and its viral qualities.

In today’s world, it’s all about mobile–if you are designing apps for the web, you aren’t getting it. What is the ubiquitous device that everyone has with them all the time? Mobile. Mobile requires greater simplicity and great pragmatism.

Solving a complex problem doesn’t suggest that there’s a market. Who wants to buy, why and at what price point? It’s easy for an entrepreneur to quickly dismiss these questions only to learn later that there was no market for their idea. This is what I call “The Field of Dreams” model: if you build it, they will come, unless they don’t.

How are you going to monetize your business? How are you going to make money, how much and how fast? Investors want to know how they get their money back and what the upside is for them!

Are consumers or businesses willing to purchase at the price point you are suggesting? Are you basing price on your costs or on the value the marketplace will see?

Just because a space is big doesn’t mean another service provider is needed, e.g., travel. What will disrupt current thinking and make people move away from tried and true solutions to your solution?

When investors ask if you are willing to change the name of the company, tell them you are!

For an enterprise app, venture capitalists may assume that a problem is already being solved in the enterprise when it really is not.

I’m not hearing as much about “freemium” business models the last couple of years. That’s great! Too many freemium business models have left the developers destitute even with thousands of sign-ups. There often isn’t a viable back-end business for freemium software companies.

On Shark Tank, I often hear the question, “Are you a product or a business?” I’d add, “Are you a feature or a product?” Investors invest in businesses and realize that most entrepreneurs have to pivot early in their evolution. They are less likely to invest in a product.

Some important things to think about, eh?

Thought for the week:

I received a copy of Found: Turning Your Unlimited Ideas Into One Sustainable Business written by Naveen Lakkur and Dr. Liz Alexander. By the time I got to page 10, I was grinning from ear-to-ear.

This book is what 99% of entrepreneurs need to dramatically increase their chances for marketplace success. Naveen and Liz have written the book I’ve wanted to read for some time.


 What do you think? I welcome your comments! Dave Gardner

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