Make something people want . . . There’s nothing more valuable than an unmet need that is just becoming fi xable. If you fi nd something broken that you can fix for a lot of people, you’ve found a gold mine.
—PAUL GRAHAM, FOUNDER OF Y COMBINATOR, VENTURE CAPITALIST, AND ESSAYIST AT PAULGRAHAM.COM
Every successful business creates something of value. The world is full of opportunities to make other people’s lives better in some way, and your job as a businessperson is to identify things that people don’t have enough of, then find a way to provide them.
The value you create can take on one of several different forms, but the purpose is always the same: to make someone else’s life a little bit better. Without value creation, a business can’t exist—you can’t transact with others unless you have something valuable to trade.
The best businesses in the world are the ones that create the most value for other people. Some businesses thrive by providing a little value to many,and others focus on providing a lot of value to only a few people. Regardless, the more real value you create for other people, the better your business will be and the more prosperous you’ll become.
It’s this simple: if I never try anything, I never learn anything. —HUGH PRATHER, AUTHOR OF NOTES TO MYSELF
The classic MBA product development model is shrouded in secrecy and mystique: develop the offering in private, make everyone involved sign nondisclosure agreements,2 raise millions of dollars in venture capital, spend years making it perfect, then unveil your creation to the astonishment of theworld and the thunderous sound of ringing cash registers.
Unfortunately, this mentality ruins careers and empties bank accounts.On their own, ideas are largely worthless—discovering whether or not you can actually make them work in reality is the most important job of any entrepreneur.
Don’t be shy about showing potential customers your work in progress.Unless you work in an industry with unusually aggressive, competent, and well-funded competitors, you really don’t have to worry about other people “stealing” your idea. Ideas are cheap—what counts is the ability to translate an idea into reality, which is much more diffi cult than recognizing a good idea.
“Stealth mode” diminishes your early learning opportunities, putting you at a huge early disadvantage. It’s almost always better to focus on getting feedback from real customers as quickly as you possibly can.
A Prototype is an early representation of what your offering will look like.It may be a physical model, a computer rendering, a diagram, a fl…