A few weeks ago I was walking around DC Tech Day, looking at all the super early stage ventures, some little more than an idea. I normally vehemently shun pessimism, but I couldn’t help but think that the vast majority were dead from the beginning. I couldn’t think of anyone they could call a legitimate customer, and when probing them, the unicorn “consumer” was their target customer.
We see hundreds and hundreds of amazing ideas fail because of the lack of an accessible market. While I do believe that big consumer ideas sometimes appear as toys, that doesn’t necessarily empower every entrepreneur to just go out and build toys.
The other week I was lecturing about the first 90 days of an idea (I might teach it again if you’re interested) to aspiring entrepreneurs. I made it clear that I subscribe to the lean startup methodology’s belief in early and continuous customer development. The class was pretty much all about customer development. I see it as common sense, but to the class, this was an eye opening experience and, in their own words, a totally different perspective.
I hope I made an impact.