July 23, 2021
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How to troubleshoot our startup? Pivot or Preserve?

Your back is against the wall, no one is clicking on your link. You haven’t had a new user in a while. Should I give up or should I continue? I think the answer to this question is fundamentally based on two questions:

  1. Does anyone need your prodocut/service?
  2. Are you effectively reaching out to the ones who need it?

That’s it! This is the first step to troubleshoot your startup. Before spending more money on advertising, find out who needs your product. To do this, you’ll need to run surveys, use ideacooker, ask people around. Building a startup based on your need might work. If you need something, chances are other people need it too. But how many people? Humans are unique. So, if you need something it does not mean that many people need it as well.

Find the first person who loves your idea and actually uses it. Once you find that one person, things will become much easier going forward. Find the second, third, and more people who use your product. Be in direct contact with them and see what customer segment they belong to. Are they are one type of customer or do they vary from vertical to vertical. You may have been focusing on the wrong audience. Maybe there’s a larger market segment waiting for you.

Are you effectively reaching out to the ones who need your product? This is very tricky. If you have done step one right, by now, you should have an idea who your customers should be. Write down a list of their characteristics and start experimenting with advertising. If you start with this step before step one, it’s easy to throw away a lot of money before you find your audience. So, start slow.

What now? If you have been iterating for months and no one wants to try your product or wants to click on your link, it’s a good time to be suspicious of the idea itself. Don’t give up too fast matters as much as don’t give up too slow. If you need to pivot, because no one wants your idea, just pivot and try something else. Many great ideas came out of pivots. Also, we should all remember. Not all startups should or will succeed. There’s a lot of luck involved. Don’t beat yourself up. You are still brave to try this. Keep telling yourself that. Most people are afraid of doing what you are doing so, congrats!

Best of luck to us! Cheers.