February 24, 2018

Mistake #3: A Market of One Does Not a Market Make

Way too often, an executive or salesperson comes back from visiting a major customer and communicates that the customer just identified a big need that the customer needs to solve and it would make a great product opportunity for the company.  Based upon this evidence, the company begins down the pathway of developing this new product, then implementing it for the major customer, only later to discover that the major customer was the only one in the market that had this specific problem.

Let’s change the context to an entrepreneur.  The entrepreneur identifies a specific problem that they are experiencing and thinks of a product idea to solve it.  Based upon this brilliant idea, they determine that they need to turn this into a product and sell it to many others in the market.   Once they develop the new product, they wonder why so few other people want the product.   Again, the problem is that the entrepreneur identified a very small opportunity where they, and maybe a few others like them, might be the only customers.  Or it could be that others do have the problem, but it’s not an important problem that they want to pay to solve.

How do we get around this mistake of creating products for a “Market of One”?  What we teach in the “From Napkin to Revenue” workshop is that when you identify a potential opportunity as described above, at this point, it is only a hypothesis.   Now you must speak to potential customers and validate that many others have the same problem and are willing to pay to solve that problem.  If you go through this initial step of the process and confirm that, yes, many others do have this problem and are willing to pay to solve it, then you have taken a significant step forward in improving your chances of success in the market.   There are many other things you must do right to be successful, but identify a significant and important market problem is the starting point for all great products.

Successful Products Begin With a Big Problem

That Many People Are Willing to Pay to Solve!

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