Founders, here’s what you have unless you have a customer.
People get caught up in their own narrative and it’s easy to get delusional when you are a founder.
A lot of what startup founders do is totally nuts and completely against the odds anyway. [9 out of 10 startups fail]. They are selling a dream to the audience so of course they have to believe in their own first.
But here’s a really really key lesson: Your idea doesn’t matter if you don’t have a customer. Yes, it might sound super compelling on paper, your friends/peers might say you are onto the next big thing but it’s a bunch of smoke unless there’s real fire.
And that fire is when an unaffiliated customer who stumbled across your product is using it to solve his need AND is willing to pay (via his attention or money) daily/weekly/monthly.
Until then what you have is an idea. An opinion. A hypothesis. Or like this elegant phrase Andy Raskin used below that struck a chord with me.
What else? What are your thoughts on this topic?