by @sgblank “The demands of customer discovery require people who are comfortable with change, chaos, and learning from failure and are at ease working in risky, unstable situations without a roadmap.”
1.Assuming you know what the customer wants.
To succeed, founders need to turn these guesses into facts as soon as possible by getting out of the building, asking customers if the hypotheses are correct, and quickly changing those that are wrong.
2. The “I know what features to build” flaw.
without direct and continuous customer contact, it’s unknown whether the features will hold any appeal to customers.
3. Focusing on the launch date.
The product launch and first customer ship dates are merely the dates when a product development team thinks the product’s first release is “finished.” It doesn’t mean the company understands its customers or how to market or sell to them
4. Emphasizing execution instead of testing, learning, and iteration.
focusing on execution and delivering a product or service based on those initial, untested hypotheses is a going-out-of-business strategy.
5. Writing a business plan that doesn’t allow for trial and error.
Financial progress is tracked using metrics like income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow. The problem is, none of these metrics are very useful because they don’t track progress against your startup’s only goal: to find a repeatable and scalable business model.
6. Confusing traditional job titles with a startup’s needs.
“Sales” at an existing company refers to a team that repeatedly sells a known product to a well-understood group of customers with standard presentations, prices, terms, and conditions. Startups by definition have few, if any, of these. In fact, they’re out searching for them!
7. Executing on a sales and marketing plan.
in a majority of startups, measuring progress against a product launch or revenue plan is simply false progress, since it transpires in a vacuum absent real customer feedback
8. Prematurely scaling your company based on a presumption of success.
the most experienced executives are pressured to hire and staff per the plan regardless of progress. This leads to the next startup disaster: premature scaling.
9. Management by crisis, which leads to a death spiral.
The assumptions in a business plan are simply a series of untested hypotheses. When real results come in, the smart startups pivot or change their business model based on the results. It’s not a crisis, it’s part of the road to success.