Tech startups have often been accused of creating products that nobody wants or needs. It’s a consequence of product focussed teams in love with their technology and product. But we see less and less of that nowadays. Hopefully we’re entering a post-lean era, where the principals of customer discovery, validation and lean development are engrained in the DNA of every founder.
Yes, creating value is not difficult. Most founders seem to get it now. What matters is for whom you are creating that value. Creating value for others is relatively easy. Find a problem, fix it, convince people you have the solution. However, capturing some of that value for your startup is a lot more difficult.
If you have a bit of time and money to burn through, then value creation will come over time. You just always have to have it as your goal. The problem is, there’s so much focus on this. You can’t ignore it, it’s definitely a “must-have”. But creating something valuable without looking at how you sustain yourself, your team and grow the company is dangerous. And it’s easy to do, because there are lots of positive feedback mechanisms to tell you that you’re on the right road. They’re great, they’re what you need to keep going, but they’re just the first step in ensuring you have a successful company.
Sound like you? Congratulations. You’ve created something of value. Now make sure you can see how you’ll extract enough value for the company or you won’t be around very long. And that’s a pity, you’re product would probably be missed.