“Those times when you get up early and you work hard, those times when you stay up late and you work hard, those times when you don’t feel like working, you’re too tired, you don’t want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream.” – Kobe Bryant
If you have a problem, do you honestly care HOW it gets done, as long as it works? Spoiler alert: the correct answer is no. Sure, you probably have conditions of satisfaction — the solution can’t cost more than X dollars, or require new software systems, or disrupt your supply chain. This is all a part of what success looks like. Once that’s defined, if your team can get the job done with helper monkeys in cute little vests, more power to them.
I’m not advising that CEOs of mid to large size companies making millions of dollars a year with hundreds of employees drop everything to sell every new product her company launches. That’s unrealistic and in many cases unreasonable. But, that doesn’t mean new products can be built by committee. While the CEO might not launch every product, every product needs a CEO.
Time for a case study! To follow up on last week’s advice, Sell It Before You Build It, we’re turning to Chris Oltyan, founder and CEO of Rebric. After years of pivoting from building one product to another with no success, recently Chris found a client that needed a problem solved and secured a six-figure commitment — without building anything.
I’d say many people who build products do so in part because they want to AVOID dealing with other people, much less try to sell them anything. But eventually, you’ll have to talk to customers. The question is, do you do it before you build anything and validate they’ll pay for all the work you’re about to do, or do you do it after you’ve spent all your time, money and effort to create something, only to find out no one cares.
There are several reasons why business owners are afraid of asking questions. I’ll tell you right now, all of them suck. But here they are:
* They’ll get answers they don’t want.
* They should already know the answer.
* They’ll frustrate the other party by asking.