Not being live means flying blind

by Giff on May 3, 2012

From Roger Ehrenberg at IA Ventures, an influential early stage VC in New York:

“We are passionate about focus, especially at the earliest stages where distractions often mean not shipping software, and not shipping means not being close to customers and getting feedback, which essentially means flying blind. Once a start-up begins living in its head and not in the market working to make customers happy, the chances of actually achieving happy customers and product/market fit fall off a cliff. This frequently happens in nascent markets, where the possibilites to make customers happy seem endless and inexperienced but eager managements want to keep all options open until it is virtually certain what customers want. In real life, however, this is not the way it works. 

Success – and failure – is bred of having a hypothesis, aggressively testing that hypothesis, collecting feedback, seeing if the original hypothesis has been proven or disproven and going from there. If the hypothesis has been proven, fantastic. Live close to the customer, identify KPIs, use cohort analysis to inform tweaks to optimize the user experience and scale like crazy.”

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