LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES.
We started with our own idea and thought nothing could happen to us. We got a lot of positive feedback, invested a lot of time in research and read a lot about how to successfully build ideas and startups. Nonetheless, we made some painful mistakes that cost us a lot of time and money and almost our startup. Mistakes that we could have avoided if we had asked for expert help. We want to protect you from these mistakes so that you can concentrate fully on your idea.
You just focus on the one idea
Don't focus too much on your initial idea. The euphoria and enthusiasm for your own idea can easily block the view of more lucrative areas. The right team and implementation are much more important. Every successful company has changed and adapted its founding idea over time. So be open. We too started with a different idea and haven't noticed for far too long what our customers really want. When we adapted our idea, the customers finally came too.
Your idea is a secret
It is very unlikely that someone will steal your idea from you. Because in the end it all comes down to the team and the implementation and less to the idea itself. It's better to take the risk and tell others about your idea to get feedback than to keep everything to yourself and realize later that nobody cares. At the beginning we made a big secret of everything, but then noticed how the feedback from others helps to check our assumptions, avoid mistakes and find colleagues.
Your idea doesn't solve a problem
Hard to believe, but unfortunately true: Many people do not think enough about whether their idea even solves a specific customer problem. They briefly present their idea to friends and family, who approve of the idea as "interesting". A lot of time and money is then invested in the development in order to later realize that the idea does not solve a real customer problem and fails. Therefore: Check customer interest right from the start and look at the competition. We have developed helpful interview techniques that allow us to understand exactly what problems our customers are facing and what helps them before investing a lot of time and money into development.
The wrong team
If someone doesn't fit into your team, painful decisions have to be made. Think carefully about who you are building your idea with. Unsuitable co-founders and employees put your startup at extreme risk. Only the best people, who complement your skills and are just as motivated as you, will advance you. We too had to part with employees and even co-founders because we trusted our gut feeling too much. We first had to learn how to find the right candidates, review them and keep them permanently.
Wanting too much at once
Your first product doesn't have to be perfect - in fact, quite the opposite. Quickly bring a first version with the most necessary features onto the market and develop it further with customer feedback. Otherwise, you will get entangled in trying to do everything correctly and completely. That costs time and money and you don't know whether your product will be well received at all. We too have often developed features that in the end no one wanted to use. We have taught ourselves methods with which we can check what belongs in the product and what does not before we start developing.
You don't have a business model
A business idea is not a business model. Many get lost in daydreams and forget that an idea alone is not enough to make money. Then comes the nasty surprise later. Therefore: Check right at the beginning who would pay for your product and for what reason. Before we even had a product, we talked to potential customers and used very simple prototypes to check whether customers would pay for it.
You're ignoring your target audience
Many entrepreneurs are working on something that doesn't meet the needs of their customers without realizing it. Whether your customers like the product is not your decision, but solely that of your customers or users. First get to know your target group extremely well, spend time with them, try to understand what motivates them, what problems they have and what they really want. That opened our eyes and was the cornerstone of our success. We spent days and weeks with our target group, conducted hundreds of interviews and carried out many user tests.
You don't need marketing
If you speak to your customers early enough and use their feedback to develop something they love, chances are they'll tell their friends, and your product will spread on its own. Nevertheless, it is important that you do not rely on it and that you come up with a strategy from the beginning on how to successfully market your product. We have learned that successful marketing works well without expensive traditional marketing and have developed methods that can be used to win customers inexpensively or even completely free of charge.
Invest a lot of money
Employees, offices, a company - all of this costs money. But until you need that, the implementation of your idea doesn't have to be expensive. Finding out with the help of a first product whether your idea works and even gaining paying customers is almost always possible with your own financial resources (bootstrapping) - but only if you stick to an absolutely customer-centered and data-driven product development process. This will make it much easier to get investors later.
Don't ask for help
Of course, you are passionate about your idea and you are absolutely convinced of it. This very often leads to the fact that you only see what confirms your own idea and ignore any criticism. That you will make mistakes, especially if you are still inexperienced, is inevitable - we speak from experience. Constructive and objective feedback from the right people will help you spot risks, wrong decisions, and wrong assumptions before it's too late. Let experts check your idea and get help - an investment that is guaranteed to pay off.