Sequoia is one of the top venture firms and Roelof Botha is one of their top investors. As with all members of the PayPal Mafia, I pay particular attention when I hear them speak because that group is so thoughtful about how disruptive companies are created. And Roelof in particular is very thoughtful.
In this podcast Roelof is asked how his investments typically get their first few hundred customers. His answer is very simple and straightforward…”they build great products.”
He adds that Sequoia looks for businesses where the customers find the business (versus ones where the business has to look for customers). “When you have a unique solution to an important problem, customers will find you," he says.
The most important outcome of a great product is word-of-mouth growth because existing users will tell their friends and co-workers about the great products that they are using.
If you are a founder who hasn’t yet gotten product-market fit, quickly build a prototype product (great diagrams of this here & here) so that you can measure (through real usage) if you’ve built something that people love enough to tell others.
And if you are working on a consumer startup, you have to stay in this MVP phase until you know that you are getting organic growth. Not only will it make all future growth easier, but investors aren’t likely to give you money just to pour into acquiring new customers.
If you are particularly interested in product, here are all my blog posts tagged "product." Enjoy!
Get Right to the Lesson
I’d recommend listening to the entire thing, but to get right to the point go to minute 7:10 of this podcast/video.
Thanks to these folks for helping us all learn faster
Roelof Botha (@roelofbotha) of Sequoia (@sequoia)
This Week In Startups (@TWistartups )
Jason Calacanis (@jason)
Jacqui Deegan (@jacqKD)
Jacob Beemer (@jacobbeemer)
Please let me and others know what you think about this topic
Email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org or let's discuss publicly at @davempayne.
Real Founder Lessons
The best startup advice from experienced founders...one real-world lesson at a time.