Tech Anatomy of a Startup – Part 2

In the first part of this series, we saw the importance of selecting the most appropriate technology stack as well as having a good technology team. In this section, we will explore the customer side of startup journeys. You may wonder why an article on “Tech Anatomy” should delve into the customer aspect. In many ways, the technology and the customer are very tightly connected. If the startup has to respond promptly to the voice of the customer, the product should be architected in a way that allows for quick changes without breaking down. It should allow for scalability without giving up performance or functional discord. Therefore, architecture and technology play a critical role in remaining relevant to the customer as you journey towards PMF and beyond.

7

The customer should be the centre around which everything else revolves.

Entrepreneurs tend to be obsessed with the solution that they created. The product can very easily become the main story. But very early in the startup journey, we have to put the customer at the center. That means seeing the product from the customer’s perspective. That also means ensuring they are happy and satisfied with your product or service. It also means always looking for ways to improve the customer experience.

A startup is only as good as its ability to attract and retain customers. A startup’s decision should be driven by a desire to serve existing customers better as well as reach new ones.

The key to a successful startup is to provide value to customers who are willing to pay. This equation means clearly understanding what your target market wants. Find the needs and then find a way to provide it in a way that is unique and differentiated from your competition.

Creating a great customer experience should be one of the main goals of any startup. Make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for, provide helpful and knowledgeable customer service, and continually work to improve the overall experience.

Building a loyal customer base is essential for any startup. This process can be done by creating fans out of satisfied customers, offering referral incentives, and developing long-term relationships with your best customers.

T4

Entrepreneurs should focus on their idea and not be obsessed with them. They should get into the customer's shoes first and think through as many user journeys as possible from their perspective.

They must consider the customer’s perspective and what they want or need from the product. Entrepreneurs must be able to visualize many different scenarios that their product must handle. The key to success is understanding your target customer and focusing on them throughout the development of your product.

The journey from MVP to PMF is particularly tricky since no one is going to actually tell you that the product is ready for the market. You have to constantly keep listening for that right moment. The entrepreneur has to watch the many indicators of growth and acceptance and make the right moves at the right moments.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Your target segment customers are your Fantastic Beasts. Find them fast. Do not offer your product to just anyone. Listening to anyone other than your target market segment can derail you.

Identifying the target market segment is easy said than done. What you originally started off with may pivot or evolve along the way. So, in many cases the target market itself moves. Therefore, the product has to play catch up even faster and better.   

That said, once identified your target customers are like the fantastic beasts in the Harry Potter movies. You have to look for them and find them. In other words, do not approach just anyone with your product. The correct feedback for your product can come only from the those who really need it and will be happy to pay for it eventually. The startup must use marketing and sales strategies specifically designed to reach the target market segment to find these people.

Once these “fantastic beasts” have been found, it is important to listen to them carefully. This means listening to both the explicit messages as well as ready between the lines on the basis of user behavior and product adoption.  It also means providing excellent customer service. If a customer is unhappy with the product or service, it is important to address the issue immediately. A satisfied customer is a loyal customer.

The journey from MVP to PMF is particularly tricky since no one is going to actually tell you that the product is ready for the market. You have to constantly keep listening for that right moment. The entrepreneur has to watch the many indicators of growth and acceptance and make the right moves at the right moments.

6

Conclusion

The product journey especially from MVP to PMF is literally a tight-rope walk. One has to listen very carefully the right customers. And most importantly the changes required to stay relevant in the market have to be incorporated quickly and efficiently. That is really where the customer journey and the technology journey must really synchronize perfectly and move swiftly and graceful.