If We Build It, Will They Come?

I love the “Field of Dreams” movie marketing theory: “If we build it, they will come.” How many companies use this as the premise for their entrepreneurial venture?

The lessons of the “dot com” bubble should have been etched in entrepreneur’s minds. There is little evidence that this is true. Most entrepreneurs believe their idea is “the next big thing.” Yet, statistics reveal quite the opposite. What are the preventative actions?

  • Create around actual customer needs and wants–not a theoretical view of what you perceive to be customer needs and wants.
  • Make sure you know how the world will come to know about you.
  • Keep reminding people of how you can help them.

Last I checked, Coca-Cola still does advertising. There are probably few places on planet earth that don’t know about Coca-Cola yet they still see a need to remind us that they are there for us.

I was on a university campus a few months ago. A student approached me a flyer for an app that would eliminate the need for LinkedIn. “Really?” I thought. I asked, “Why do I need a replacement for LinkedIn?” The student replied, “Our app will tell you if someone you are connected to is in close physical proximity, e.g., a conference, on campus, staying in a hotel, etc. I asked if he thought people would flee LinkedIn for this feature. He enthusiastically said, “Yes.” I’m not so sure.

What questions did this new product team ask to conclude LinkedIn users would abandon LinkedIn to get on their app? I’m willing to bet they didn’t. The entrepreneurs believe so strongly in their idea that they truly believe “if they build it, they will come.”

Thought for the week:

“Never be defined by your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.” –Unknown

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

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