1. Many founders think their instinct should be to go after the hardest customers first. I know I’ve made something good! They think it’s proof: if I can get this impossible person to use it, then it’ll be easier.
2. It’s an MVP, and you know you’ve made something bad! That’s the definition of MVP – it’s bad!
3. So the real question is, how do you find people willing to use a bad product? They have to be the most desperate! Who are the most desperate customers, and how do you talk to them first?
4. If you are trying to sell a simple piece of software to someone, and you’re engaged in a six-month conversation with the customer, that’s not a desperate customer! Move on!
5. When you’re making enterprise sales early as a startup, you have to look for the most desperate companies because it takes so long to sell them. If you don’t feel like dealing with desperate customers, if you don’t feel you’ve dealt, if you are trying to get impressive customers who aren’t desperate, you’re probably doing it wrong.
6. Whose business is going to go out of business without using you? Which people are not going to be able to get to work without using you? Who is screaming for something like this? How can you talk to them?
7. Don’t talk to your friends or investors. Many of your friends won’t have the problem that you’re solving. Communities of startup people or investors usually don’t have the problem that you’re solving too.
8. If you’re using friends or investors as a trigger for “Am I solving the right problem?” or “Do they find this useful?” it’s almost never the case. Ignore your investors. Ignore your friends. They will lead you 100% astray.