Yes, you read right. Starting a startup is cheap, growing a startup is expensive. You can quickly build an MVP to find a product-market fit but, building a robust product that meets the need of a broad set of users takes tremendous amount of time, effort, and money.
The mistake a lot of founders make is they want to start their startup with a product that is robust enough to meet the need of a broad set of users without trying to find a product-market fit first. They basically put the horse before the cart which eventually leads to a colossal failure of the startup because they later find out that their product doesn’t actually fit into the market they are trying to break into.
This is why founders need to pay a lot of attention when they are at the point of transitioning from MVP to a product with a broad user base. At the phase of transitioning they need more investments to fine-tune the product to meet the needs of their growing customer base, more time has to be spent in understanding their customers, more investments on quality integrations and infrastructure that will make your mobile app effective and efficient for their users at all times.
Growing a startup is not an easy feat. To grow a startup here are 3 critical things every founder must understand:
Don’t Confuse “M” for Maximum
This is a misunderstanding many founders struggle with. They believe that more features translate to more value for the user. The truth is that more features usually make a product less usable, not more. And a product that is unusable is a product that will be abandoned. Which explains the reason why many startups fail. Founders need to understand that it is not about the number of features but the problems the features are solving. If you build a product with numerous features that don’t solve any problem then that product is doomed to fail. It might look good on paper and in the presentation slides but, that product will never scale.
Founders need to focus on a few core problems and build a product that can easily solve those problems. When you have been able to get a product-market fit and you really need to expand or pivot you can now find ways to solve more problems based on the core problem you are already solving.
Don’t be reluctant to pivot
Pivoting is something many founders struggle to accept. Especially when they are exceedingly passionate about the product they building and the problem they think they are solving. But, sorry to burst your bubble you don’t have to push onwards the moment you consistently start getting certain responses from product testers in the line of “I will prefer X” or “I think Y is better” it is a signal for a new direction. Also, study external factors, if an enterprise decides to build a similar product and invests a lot of money in it, then you are back to square one.
Don’t channel all your resources to marketing
it is very coming with founders when they want to amass as many users on an MVP. They believe they have built the next big thing (which is not a bad mentality), then they start investing in expensive ad channels which kind of defeats the purpose of building an MVP. You are supposed to grow gradually with an MVP. Grow your brand and attract the right customers. Focus too much on onboarding millions of users. Focus on onboarding a few, understand their expectations and work towards onboarding more users as you improve your product.
Essentially Your growth speed is usually determined by how you start. What you focus on at the beginning. Don’t get too obsessed with building a perfect product and attracting millions of users. Focus more on learning from the few you onboarded at the early stages then build a foundation around what you learned then grow. (Growing is where the real work lies)