Lesson Learned #6 From My First Startup

Lesson Learned #6: Hand hold your first customers or users

(image by mteson via flickr)

This lesson should be simple yet it is one where I missed the boat entirely. We expected the business to scale based on customers helping themselves and each other. We built an online experience that included an online store which removed us even further from the customer. The lesson here for me is that when you are starting out you need to be as close as you can with your first customers and/or users. I want to know everything they are experiencing and get as much feedback as possible. When you start something many, if not most, of your assumptions will be wrong. The only question is which ones are wrong. The best way to find that out is to be involved as much as possible right off the bat. If you have a scaling problem that is a good problem to have. If you never get a chance to scale that is a bigger problem.