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Get Paying Customers First

Summary #

Jason Cohen discusses the importance of having paying customers before you create a product or business.

Empty store

(Photo: whoohoo120 at Flickr)

Commentary #

A benefit of pretotyping is that you start to explore who your potential customers are before you invest heavily in creating a product.

Jason Cohen, founder of Smart Bear Software, had the opportunity to listen to hundreds of starts make their pitch to get venture capital.

He sums up his position with harsh, utterly pragmatic advice:

If you can't find ten people who say they'll buy it, your company is bullshit.

In a later podcast, Jason clarified that he's not talking about a lot of money: $10-$50 to demonstrate their commitment. The important point is that you're building something that actually fulfills a need; one for which people are willing to pay.

See Also #