There was such a story. I knew one very smart developer. At one time, he had an idea about creating an ideal website. It was his startup to create a business platform similar to the Clutch. He focused all his efforts on implementing functionality so that the website would not have any bugs and, after all, eventually become perfect.
Today, the idea of the startup has been forgotten; a friend of mine works as a software developer on yet another project, although he periodically remembers his project and what he wanted to do and what he planned to achieve with it.
When we talked, I was asking him how he expect to share his project? The answer was that users themselves would want to share with others how a wonderful product it is and would recommend it to their friends. And he is not going to spend any time for marketing or related activities.
In other words, he was telling about word of mouth, which is essentially the most complicated source for attracting customers: you have no feasibility to control the customer’s flow, upscale or downscale it when needed and make a planning of the growth.
If to rephrase and put it in other words, he was ready to create a product that no one would ever know about, but when somebody’s in then spread it massively. Or at least such a conclusion can come up since there was no word about any marketing, landing pages, presentation, and other related stuff… any promotional activities which are the part of the product life-cycle…
Actually, this is one of the main mistakes of a technical founder – focusing on delivering features only instead of spreading around information about the product yourself as a matter of the fact that you believe in what you do.
What will you do if your product would have not selling well as you expected? Will you hire two developers to implement new features which will never be known? Or will you hire two designers and copywriters to create several different landing pages, presentations, and launch advertising for your product?
What would you say when you discover that funding investments in a project raise landing pages, pitches and presentations, but not the products themselves?
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Let’s imagine a situation when you send your presentation to investors for review. Following the investor funnel, you will, of course, first go through their assistants and only then information about your project will reach the investor’s desk. However, the investor spends very little time per each of presentations they get since they are simply swamped on a daily basis. And you can ask what will the investor do after briefly browsing through the boring presentation slides? Of course, an investor will open the website containing a landing page, which was done by designers and copywriters. And if the first open page (actually landing page) does not convince them, it is likely that communication with the startup will stop.
Will the investor register on the website and explore the sections “inside” the website? If there is a one-click registration option (such as a social button “Login with Facebook/Google”), maybe they will look at a bunch of pages. Just don’t expect him to study the functionality of the product in detail.
The only after the investor has become interested in your project, you will be invited to pitch. I agree that there are different ways for getting into the investor funnel and when you’re a successful founder with or without exits it should be much easier… anyway, while you’re not there do your homework.
Thus, when you study startups that have raised investments, analyze first of all not their products, but their presentations and above all things their landing pages.