"If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late." --Reid Hoffman, Founder, LinkedIn
I recently met with an advisor from the Bixel Exchange Startup Development Program to talk about my business idea, plan, and strategy. It was an excellent opportunity to pick the brain of an entrepreneur who's founded and sold multiple businesses and understands the challenges a "wantrepreneur" faces.
It was also humbling.
I told him my VERY BIG PLANS and he listened patiently, smiling and nodding. He let me talk scaling, exponential technologies, and all the other things I've found intriguing in Peter Diamandis' Bold that I was going to incorporate into my business.
Then he said something that I want to share with you.
"Until you have sold a single unit, service, or product, the 'work' you've done is mostly mental masturbation."
How could that be? I'd made a very detailed, 40-page business plan, filed the proper paperwork, secured the domain name, social media sites, did a ton of research, blah, blah, blah.
So. Much. WORK!
"That's not the hard part," he said. "The hard part is receiving money for providing value. Until then, it's just ideas."
So the question is: do people want what you're selling?
If you don't know, you don't have a business. You need to validate the demand before all the other stuff, because no one is rewarded with automatic customer bases for having well thought-out plans and clever balance sheets.
I know lots of people in Los Angeles deluding themselves, playing at entrepreneurship, romanticizing the process and bandying terms like angel investors and 10x-ing and equity crowdfunding.
I know because I'm one of them, and we can smell our own. But we can change!
Following are some takeaways from this meeting that should be in the forefront of your mind as you plan your world-changing enterprise:
Action forces answers. Inaction raises questions.
Action is execution. Inaction is theorization.
Action is movement. Inaction is the simulation of movement.
Action is doing now. Inaction is waiting for the perfect time.
Take action, amigos. Validate first, then grind!