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🚦 3-2-1 Traction — don’t disrupt what works
The opportunity in satisfaction; big markets aren’t enough; habits of successful cofounders; raising a seed round; all of entrepreneurship in 7 steps; and getting started.
Happy Halloween, friend 👋
It’s another week, so here are 3 big ideas from me, 2 ideas from others, and 1 question to help you focus in your journey to find traction.
Let’s go. 👇
3 ideas from me
A common mistake in product design is disrupting what already works.
As I’ve said before, my favourite value prop tool is an experience map — a flowchart that documents your customer’s experience trying to meet their need without you (either because they don’t know about you, or you don’t exist yet). It’s a fantastic way to identify the pain points and opportunities that become central to your value proposition.
BUT… used properly, it should also show what already works. Your customer’s life isn’t all doom and gloom. In solving their problem, there are likely things they want to keep as they are.
To design a strong product, disrupt what doesn’t work — but preserve what does.
Want to dive much deeper? Join the The Startup Product Playbook webinar on Dec 6th.
The entire process of entrepreneurship, from idea to exit:
Find a growing group of customers
Who have a really big problem
That you can solve better
Get them to say yes
Make it repeatable
Scale it huge
Please resist the urge to overcomplicate it.
A “big market” doesn’t just mean there are a lot of people in it.
There also has to be desirability:
Lots of potential customers; AND
A big, unsolved (or poorly solved) problem; AND
A scalable, lovable, truly differentiated product that solves it; AND
An eagerness to pay for it.
When looking at your addressable market, don’t just consider the people and problem.
Quick pit stop… if you’re not already subscribed, why not do so now?
2 ideas from others
At first I did not know how to respond to the many investors contacting me. My mental model was that entrepreneurs are the ones who approach VCs, hat and pitch deck in hand, begging for their patronage. Suddenly I found a bunch of VCs really interested in helping me in various ways — connecting me to other investors, taking time to brainstorm on ideas, helping to fine-tune my pitch deck. I didn’t understand what was happening until I realized that many investors do this in order to build a good relationship with founders — almost like a “free trial” in case you end up taking money from them. And VCs themselves have to hustle to find good deals, so they’re motivated to reach out to, and be helpful to, founders.
Worth a read. Just ignore the tech bro subtext. 😅
Get explicit about who makes which decisions (and how)
Bring in a shared executive coach
Design an executive team with accountability in mind
Create a ritual of getting together
Have “spiritual alignment”, and reflect it in all decisions
You’re going through the ringer together. Be prepared.
1 question for you
You know what you need to do to make progress, so:
How soon can you get started?
How soon can you learn from the failures?
That’s it for me. Have an amazing week, my friend!
PS… If you’re enjoying 3-2-1 Traction, will you take 6 seconds and forward this issue to a friend? It goes a long way in helping me grow the newsletter (and helping more founders find traction).