Big shoutout to James Lewis from The Startup Chat Facebook group for the suggestion for today’s topic. James wanted to hear how to know when to push forward and when to call it quits in your startup.
This is not the binary “yes” or “no” that are both healthy in your company. The danger lies in the area in between, when you have to figure out what’s working, what’s not, and how to just make it work.
If you don’t have any customers, then first go listen to the How To Get Your First Customers episode. From there, once you have initial traction, you must set out to disprove the hypothesis that your business is viable. Disproving the hypothesis will give you that clear “no” signal that may save you from the dead zone of your startup.
A startup is just a fancy name for a business. The one thing that all businesses have in common is that they pay you. If you’re not getting paid yet, go fix that. If you do have paying customers, go talk to them about what they like about your product and why they bought from you.
Attachment is a scary thing to see at an early stage of a startup. Not being able to make deliberate, and objective decisions about the direction or fate of your company will ultimately end up making your business suffer. A good test for this is to ask “When Have You changed Your Mind”. This is the insight into when someone has strong opinions that they hold loosely. Both Hiten and Steli feel that this is an essential characteristic in a team member.
Steli: If you’re in that middle ground, do everything and anything you can to either win or get out of the game. Do whatever it takes to make that decision.
Hiten: To get detached from your product, go talk to people that don’t like your product. This will show you the reality of your situation.
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