Comparing Two Startup Meetings – Don’t be “that” guy

Comparing Two Startup Meetings – Don’t be “that” guy

Last week I had the opportunity to have two different meetings with Startuppers.

Both meetings were referrals; one referral was a startup attorney, and the other was from a business/personal friend who knows that I work with Startups.

The first meeting was a founder with a mobile shopping comparison app. I stopped him after the short demo and we jumped into the questions that he needed to answer for customer discovery/development before he should build any more functionality. As an example:

  • Was his customer the retail user who wanted to share photos of what they were shopping for?
    • Before they buy to get friends input
    • After they buy to brag about their find or deal
  • Was his customer big retail?
  • Was his customer a local merchant?

The point of narrowing his focus on the product was that he couldn’t serve all of those customer segments at launch. The other issue was that to be found in the Apple App Store you need virality, which happens from consumers, not from business users. Ultimately, the meeting left him with some choices he’d have to go research that could influence his next steps – before he spent more money or time building a product.

The second meeting was a more complex product offering that included Intellectual Property (IP), including patents. It was interesting as a “concept” and had a number of markets that could be pursued if the product was finished for that specific market.

People that know me, know that I hate concepts – but I love products. I’d draw a line between the “current tense” and “future tense”. What can it do today vs. what could it do at full maturity or at scale, after you raise $$, define the product and have users.

When I asked the second entrepreneur what I could do for him, it was met with a request to send him investor leads. Keep in mind that I had never met him before.

The second person was surprised when I wouldn’t make those introductions… hmmm…

 

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