Startup Learnings From The First 6 Months.
1) Simplifying your mission statement & product description is extremely hard!
Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
2) Things take a lot longer than expected
As Bill Gates is often quoted to have said: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years” and that is my experience so far as well! As a startup that’s heavily focused on technology, development, testing and optimisation, we can understand that these things take time. My focus every day is on the success of our customers, both partners and consumers.
While I can’t directly help with the development effort, I help our engineers make the UI of our booking platform as user friendly as possible. At the same time, we’re developing new ways for customers to book their dream holiday with as little hassle as possible. This takes a large amount of the burden away from the engineers, who then have more time coding the product – as this is even before a single booking has been made in the system!
3) Getting your first customer is challenging!
Even after all the preparation, market research, customer research, product development and everything in between, landing your first customer will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Especially in Ireland, no one wants to be ‘the first’ or the ‘guinea pig’.
The most likely way to win confidence is to show the product. The more abstract the idea, regardless of how good it is, the harder it is for them to visualise or imagine. Work with lots of data? Graph it, draw it, make it a pie chart! Have you developed a great new way to make your potential customers more money? Show them the prototype (once it’s not a raw pile of back-end commands, obviously) and allow them to dream and imagine what you could do. People like to buy, but they hate to have anything sold to them. Make buying simple, no strings attached (in case they are afraid of the risk) and fun, as much as possible will increase the chances, even if once again takes longer than expected!
Written by Maximilian Thiel
Head of Customer Success at Travel Open Partnership
Suited and stylish, always smiling and engaging with anyone willing to challenge and pull ideas apart. When he’s not on straight business mode, this non anonymous entrepreneur can also be found head down, earphones in, stuck to audiobooks, always upskilling. In his spare time, you’ll find him hanging with fellow colleagues and members, enjoying a cold beer (he is German after all!).