Don’t make it until you’ve sold it – common mistake of entrepreneurs
All too often I’ll say ‘have you looked at the size of the market?’ Oh yeah its huge, I can retire early off it. OK I say lets do a quick number. I rely on the Fermi Method a lot. Once I’ve gone through a fag packet calculation the response is usually either a ‘no, you’re wrong’ or just silence. I haven’t been wrong yet. The response is usually that because they have sunk a load of time or cash into developing it and they don’t want it to fail. I wish that their dreams could come true but I equally wish they came to me with general idea not the finished product.
Next time, I think I will show them the latest research from Harvard Business Review that sites one of the most common mistakes from the 120 entrepreneurs interviewed was building early and selling late. The advice is to go and talk to five key customers about the general concept that you are developing, listen to the feedback before going off and building the product.
As one entrepreneur put it “Don’t make anything until you sell it. Get people really interested in buying it before you invest too much time and effort.”