We focus most of our time and effort on our product. We develop, test, iterate, pivot and polish, polish, polish. And yet — we easily forget the ground rule of building what matters:
Products don’t create value. Customers do.
A product is nothing without (paying) customers. Only once a customer decides to part ways with her hard-owned dough, will we create actual, realized value.
Take this very newsletter. If I were to write it without any you reading it — it would be rather useless (set aside any value I gain from writing down my thoughts for myself). I can ponder my words for hours, polish the website until the wee hours of the night — it is for naught if it wouldn’t be for you. So — thank you for reading this! :)
Relentlessly focus on your customer. Find out what is important to her, how you can best serve her needs. And then fixate on delivering value on her. That’s the way you build what matters. Both for her and you.