Launching a B2B startup is fraught with distinct challenges. Chief among them is defining, approaching, and closing your first set of customers.
Why are your first ten customers so important?
This cohort provides a foundation to test, iterate, and substantiate your product and go-to-market hypotheses.
Or, maybe you’ll pivot and find a new direction as a result of your learnings from shipping and supporting a product actively in the marketplace.
I’ve experienced both scenarios personally and built successful B2B companies from them.
Either way, achieving this is a complete game-changer for your startup.
You’ll have a client base to build…
If you have an iPhone app in the marketplace or are planning on releasing one, you’re likely astutely aware of the ‘bombshell’ update Apple is about to drop on iOS 14.5 as part of its App Tracking Transparency framework — IDFA deprecation.
To those uninitiated, Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is a random device identifier assigned by Apple to a user’s device.
Advertisers, and indeed the entire mobile adtech ecosystem, use it to track the performance of ad campaigns down to the user level.
IDFA gives total visibility over how consumers engage with ads and behave in apps after downloading them…
“People often talk about how Silicon Valley’s “Move Fast & Break Stuff” ethos is one of its secret weapons.
This idea can be implemented in a huge variety of ways, from the wildly unethical, to the ill-considered, to just using the phrase to handwave away chaos and poor leadership.
But at its core, there is a secret weapon in that phrase.
If you can do it right, the ability to move fast, and the willingness to break (the right) stuff can result in learning massively faster and more effectively than your competition.
But there’s a huge challenge in implementing a…
OthersideAI was launched in the latter half of 2020 by three college-aged founders — Matt Shumer, Miles Feldstein, and Jason Kuperberg.
The company’s origin story is incredible.
It’s pretty much a text-book idealistic ‘launch’ framework for founders who want to build a venture-scale business.
Here’s a basic overview of key events.
In July 2020 the team spent a couple of hours making a product demo and posted it to Twitter.
Without many followers, they didn’t expect much to come of it.
Instead, it went viral, receiving around 1,000,000 views and reactions from prominent figures in the venture capital and technology…
Testing new products is one of my favorite things.
You formulate a hypothesis, build an experience to test it, and then put it out there for folks to try out!
Except, that last part can be kind of tricky.
I recently found myself in a position where my team had built a B2C iOS app and wanted to try it out with a small group of testers.
The app is a game called Spin Trivia. A multiplayer fusion of slots and trivia.
Our testing initiative was mainly for quality assurance and qualitative feedback purposes.
Nothing big. Small and cosy so…
I don’t know about you, but when I was a teenager I wasn’t doing anything exceptionally productive.
Mostly playing video games online and listening to a lot of rock and heavy metal bands.
So, when I recently stumbled upon 16-year-old Pratham Prasoon on Twitter, he caught my attention.
Over a period of a few months Pratham went from being a passive consumer of Twitter content — with just a handful of followers — to an influencer with 40,000+.
And, this wasn’t an audience centred around TikTok memes or another content genre you’d expect a teenager to tweet about, like esports.
It’s no secret Mark Cuban welcomes entrepreneurs to pitch him via cold email.
As a self-confessed “grinder at heart” he appreciates the hustle and regularly makes investments in founders who send them.
“My email is pretty public, so I get pitches… and I’ll respond directly”
With a pretty broad appetite across many industries and funding-stages, the founder of Broadcast.com and current Dallas Mavericks owner attracts all kinds of proposals.
Interestingly, sometimes he ‘cuts a check’ without even speaking to founders outside of an email exchange — it’s the most efficient use of his time.
Raising money to explore an idea is tough. Particularly if you are a first time “unproven” entrepreneur in that market or industry.
Founders often have to “go the extra mile” to convince investors they have a business model worth pursuing and the talent to make it happen.
Common ways of demonstrating this are to hire “rockstar” co-founders who inject a ton of credibility into the venture, or, by building and shipping a basic product that “validates” a hypothesis. Preferably, both.
In other scenarios, putting together a “prototype” which conveys the business and product vision helps a ton.
One of my…
I was recently emailing Jesper Buch, founder of Just Eat, in relation to another subject I was writing about. The company is publicly traded and worth many billions of dollars.
As a direct result I learned about how he and other members of the Just Eat team acquired customers in the early days.
With a marketing budget of approximately zero, they managed to signup thousands of paying customers onto their platform from scratch.
Achieving that was absolutely pivotal in generating the momentum needed to build what would eventually become a multi-billion dollar business.
Fascinatingly, this customer adoption was driven by…
It was late 2009. I was working in a corporate banking job and had just launched my first ever product online as a “side hustle”.
It was a “social polling” network called WhatPoll?
Basically, a website where you could vote up or down on things in lists about movies, restaurants, historical facts, etc and “debate” the merits with others.
The idea was to build up an engaged community and then monetize via advertising and affiliate partners.
I had spent the previous year reading a ton of literature about building Internet businesses and companies in general — search engine optimization, landing…