7 Product Startup Realities [Hint: Development Phase will be Longer than Expected]

Technology product companies (especially in India) face a dilemma at every step right from building the product, going to market, failing (yes failing), iterating and re-iterating, getting the go-to-market and selling strategies right, raising funds, scaling or exiting. I would like to share some of the realities an entrepreneur will face while building a technology product company.

Product development phase will be longer than expectedse7en

You would normally set a timeline for the product to get into a Beta phase and align other marketing strategies like your launch buzz or website being live with it. Be rest assured that you will never ever meet your timelines and your launch strategies will go for a toss. Also what you set out to build and what you eventually go live with will have a lot of deviations, be flexible enough to tinker with your product position.

Focus on UI/UX

There is a saying ‘Jo dikhta hai who bikta hai’ you would eventually need to come to terms with it; the first impression is the lasting impression. Work diligently on the UI/UX of your product (a founding member with UI/UX skills will help) even if it means at the cost of a feature or two getting compromised. The last thing you want is competition coming up with a better UI/UX and your customers raving about it.

Create a kick-ass video to explain your concept

When your users (businesses or individuals) land on your page, there is nothing better than finding a 60 second video which sells your concept to them. Also keep a single objective on your website, if you want your users to take a free demo of your product, make sure the user can jump to the sign-up page from any of your pages he navigates to.

[Pluggd.in Resource: 5 Steps to making a Valley-style {Kickass} Product Video in India]

Be open about your pricing

More often than not I have seen entrepreneurs not being open to revealing their pricing with the fear of competition knowing it. But the flip side is most customers would want to jump to the pricing page and first check if it’s inside their buying power before even taking a demo. Competition will find your pricing anyway, customers won’t spend efforts finding it.

Stay away from services/consultancy based entrepreneurs

That was more tongue in cheek, since you would find them doing good business early on, and trust me that’s some temptation you would want to resist early on. Always remember the your scale of business is not dependent on how fast you make your first million but how do you make it.

Make your initial customers your PR voice

Make sure your initial customers (if happy) give you references and make a lot of noise about you. For e.g. we recently got covered on the first page of ET which gave a terrific mileage and credibility and the article was initiated by one of our customers else it’s impossible for a start-up like us to be covered there.

Market like no one’s watching you

Don’t skip a single opportunity to talk or write about your product be it a blog or an event or any other thing. Never be shy about talking about your product or concept to anyone and everyone. Your passion will be seen and appreciated, and people will refer you in their network, leverage on every possible opportunity to market for free J

On a parting note beware of people who will always give you free unsolicited advices and listen with an open mind to everyone but do what your hunch and passion tells you.

[About the author: Divyesh Kharade is the Co-Founder and CEO of Deltecs a company which endeavors to take employee and customer engagement to the next level through its flagship product DRONA. Having done his engineering from Mumbai University he also serves as an advisor on the board of one more startup. Divyesh is on Twitter at @divyeshkharade.]

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