Popping Startup Bubble
As we create our Triangle Startup Factory funded startup called Curagami (http://www.curagami.com) we operate largely in self imposed bubble. Books such as The Lean Startup explain the need to get OUT THERE working with customers to create validated learning as soon as possible.
We can see why. Problem solving can be solipsistic. Problems can create more problems on into infinity. Since our tool is about know what content matters and why the irony of falling into the problem black hole would be crippling. Here are a few ideas for how to break out of the startup bubble:
* Work with "beta customers" who are almost part of your team but running businesses your tool can help (such as Moon-Audio and Vestique for Curagami).
* Start forming community ASAP. We stumbled a little on this when our Curator Contest got swamped with my need to have chemo again. We ill get back on the horse because forming community is a CSF (Critical Success Factor).
* Create Key Performance Indicators for EXTERNAL validation metrics such as whitepaper downloads, unique visitors, time on site and email list growth.
* Curate content from a wide range of experts and sources because curation is easier and cheaper than content creation, more relevant to what is happening now and it helps your brand because you gain in authority by curating content from authorities.
* Define your "competitive space" BROADLY. Don't just look directly across the table discover who and what is competing for your customers mindshare and then steal the good stuff and lead with asynchronous marketing.
* Find a universal topic such as seasonality (locally "universal" and others can easily empathize with HOT and COLD) and the weather.
* Create asynchronous marketing and if that sounds disruptive and as if you should blow shit up you are getting the idea. Sometimes you should do some strange things JUST TO SEE how they blow up. Try not to blow up the good stuff :).
When startups do any two of those ideas they are less likely to fall into the talking to themselves about themselves black hole that can easily swallow a startup whole.
The link to Google Plus shares more information about how to use universal signals to create empathy and community:
Via Martin (Marty) Smith