To those startup founders or tech entrepreneurs struggling to land customers:
Even the ones getting customers but deep down knowing they’re inconsistently scraping the barrel...
Here's some sobering advice:
My name is Apoorva Pande and I'm a Founder in Silicon Valley who currently lands new customers every month.
When I look at the startup marketplace today I see these three problems that are widespread and suffocating most founders:
1). Product Discipline: Most founders are not "Founders". Even though they have deep technical expertise, they become glorified service providers for hire at a negotiable rate. Most founders don't have a defined customer transformation and can't define what result their product guarantees. They are generalists seeking any type of customer to keep the lights on. For those that want to make a serious impact as a founder: a customer transformation is a MUST!
2). No predictable way to generate sales outside of their network: Most founders operate by what I call "Customers by Prayer". It goes like this: on the 1st of every month they open their laptop, get down on their knees and pray to any God that today a sale will close or somebody will contact them excited about their product. They operate their startups using a strategy less successful than a drunk jumping off a cliff proclaiming he can fly and gamble their own future, their teams future, and their families future. If you want to be a successful founder you MUST have a predictable and agile method to reliably generate sales on demand.
3). No predictable way to increase the throttle on sales: Most founders change their approach with every new conversation they have with potential customers. Every single call they "explain their product" and say something new with little regard to what has and hasn't worked in the past. They have no idea how many calls they need to generate a customer and (once again) float their team and company’s destiny with bone chilling optimism. If you want to make a decent impact as a Founder you must have a proven, profitable rinse and repeat process to conduct calls, increase calls, and convert strangers into high paying evangelists.
Are you making any of these three mistakes? The truth is that if you are making just one of these mistakes your startup has less than 6-months left before it gets totally wiped out.
If you raise more money: good job, you’ll have looped even more people into your cliff jump.
The world is changing and there is no place in this world for optimistic founders anymore. A new breed of founder has emerged and is powering through taking your customers and eating your market. If you don't change your ways you will get wiped out.