How you define the problem determines whether you solve it

The most successful businesses are those that solve a problem and bring value to their customers. And one of the most common causes of business failure is running out of cash while building the wrong solution, because you're looking at the problem the wrong way. To save time and money in the long run, it's important to invest in fully understanding the problem before trying to solve it. With that in mind, this article shares some top tips for "properly defining a problem before attempting to com...
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11 lessons from venture capitalist Fred Wilson

As a sales oriented founder or CEO, it's easy to be misled by early revenue and fall into the trap of thinking you've already nailed product market fit. It's a common mistake and one of the top reasons for startup failure. As a venture capitalist Fred Wilson not only backs some of the most successful tech companies, he also advises founders on how to avoid this and numerous other pitfalls that can kill startups. This article shares some of his most important lessons on product development, socia...
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Lean market validation: 10 ways to rapidly test your startup idea

One of the top reasons for startup up failure is lack of product/market fit. And that's because first-time entrepreneurs often make the mistake of launching a new business based on assumptions, without testing the market first. While you may be excited about your new business idea, if you don't get enough paying customers you'll struggle to make a success of it. Yet, with the right process "even inexperienced entrepreneurs can bring amazing products to market with excited buyers," writes Jim Sem...
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Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile: What is the difference?

Methodologies such as design thinking, lean startup, and agile development help startups reduce the risk of failure due to a lack of product-market fit. Yet founders often use these terms almost interchangeably and make the mistake of using only one of them instead of combining all three to create an effective innovation process. Here, Nicolò Mantini explores the differences between these three methodologies, how they complement each other, and how they work together to help startups a...
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Seven steps to achieve product market fit

The biggest cause of startup failure is running out of money before achieving product-market fit. "Entrepreneurs often get so excited about what they have built that they overlook the market demand/need and they build a solution in search of a problem," writes Pourya Moradi. To help you achieve repeatable, scalable and profitable growth, he shares here a seven-step guide to achieving product market fit—from accurately identifying the pain point to maintaininga healthy customer lifetime value to ...
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How to achieve product-market fit

You know you have product/market fit when customers don't just want a solution to their problem—they want your solution. And they consider your product or service a "must have." Startups need to achieve a high degree of product/market fit or die trying. And most of them will die trying as they run out of cash before they're able to gain enough traction. Here, Hayley Leibson shares a six-step process to product development that "will lead to more efficient use of resources and a high degree of co...
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3 super simple ways to understand what your customer wants

A major cause of startup failure is lack of product-market fit. A great idea doesn't become a successful product if no one wants to buy it. And when you do have a product people want, it needs to evolve quickly enough for people to be satisfied with how well it meets their needs before you risk running out of cash. The first step in achieving product-market fit is to understand your customers. Here, Stephanie Schomer shares how three entrepreneurs set out to discover who their customers are, whe...
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The simple question that can make or break a startup

Research shows the number one reason new businesses fail is because they're selling a product no one wants. You may have a great idea, the necessary expertise and all the resources you need to build a successful company, but if you're not satisfying a market need your business isn't going to survive. The key question is how to test your ideas and establish customer demand before launching a new business or product. Here, Kyle Young shares three strategies you can use to identify the ideas most l...
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What technical founders need to know about sales and marketing

As a technical founder, it is important to develop a basic understanding of marketing. No matter how great your product is, if you rely on the belief that "if you build it, they will come" the chances are you'll build the wrong product for a market that doesn't exist. And your startup stands little chance of success if you burn through cash developing a product no one needs or wants. Having learned the hard way, Hamlet Batista shares his top tips how technical founders should approach sales and ...
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Should you quit your day job? 5 important questions to ask yourself

Many new businesses begin as a part-time venture alongside a regular nine-to-five job. While quitting your day job and committing to your business full time may be your ultimate goal, it's a big decision to make. So, before taking a leap into the unknown—and possibly doing something you later regret—you need to take a step back and look at your situation objectively. Here, Sammi Caramela shares five questions you need to ask yourself together with some top tips from experts on how your answers w...
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