Follow your intuition, look at the data, fail often
A weekly blog post about an insider glance of a 3-months journey into a startup accelerator.
We are finishing week 2 of Springboard. We are in the “shape” phase: the objective is to refine the value proposition of our business idea.
Are we building something unique? Which problem/need are we actually solving/fullfilling?
The best way to figure this out is to confront smart and experienced people with our vision. This is what we have been doing for the last 10 days in what looks like a speed-dating for startups: 20 min with a mentor, 10-12 mentors a day. Mentors range from experienced startup entrepreneurs, VC’s, angels, industry specialists, etc. We have now talked to 90 different people. Here is some of the comments:
- “Aaah the Belgian team, I’ve heard about you guys; I really like what you are doing!”
- “Can you really build a multi-million dollars business with this simple idea?”
- “Very well executed, are you looking for funding?”
- “What you are trying to do is very difficult to scale and it is a crowded space”
- “If I were you, I would repackage the technology as an app and sell it for $1 on the app store”
- “This is a very exciting project and website”
Mmm well, okay.
Every day, people compare the “up & downs” that make the journey of an entrepreneur to a roller-coaster. To extend this simple analogy, you can look at Springboard as a big amusement park where every day you embark on several roller-coaster trips.
When talking to 90 experienced people, you obviously receive a ton of ideas that are as smart as they are conflicting. Most “eureka” moments are followed by identification of big holes in the idea. It’s then very easy to feel lost:
What direction should we go in? What should we focus on? What should we do?
After 10 days, the main lesson is the following: nobody knows! This is our business, our vision, our users. These are the only things that really matter.
So here is the approach that we are going to follow for the next weeks:
- Stay close to our passion and intuition
- Look at the data and understand them. What are they telling us?
- Go out, talk to users
- Test many things, fail fast, fail often
Let’s keep the ball rolling,
Stay tuned, it’s still the beginning,
Photo via piccsy