Yesterday we hosted a group of Mexican entrepreneurs at Singularity University. One of the founders asked me, what I believe the most difficult thing to do is for any startup. Without thinking about this all too much I said: “Getting users”.
Today you can reach more people easier and cheaper than ever before. You have highly advanced and yet incredibly affordable (and often even free) marketing and sales tools at your disposal.
And yet — not getting enough users quickly enough, is the number one reason why startups fail.
Getting people to notice your product or service, having them try it out and then sticking with it is insanely hard. Particularly if you want to do this at scale.
Outside of all the ‘growth hacking’ and ‘getting traction’ lessons you should learn — you need to be ultra-clear about what the value proposition of your product is. Start with who is your customer? Not in a general sense — but very specific. And why does your product/service matter to her? What is the real benefit? Why is it significantly better than the status quo? Where and when is the perfect moment for your customer to discover your product? How do you get your customer to not only love your product but also recommend it to her friends or colleagues? How can you make that insanely easy, fun and rewarding?
There are so many questions you need to ask yourself and find the answers to. But remember: You can build the most amazing gadget on the planet. If nobody is using it, it’s all for naught.