Guest post by Jerry Witkowicz
Opportunities for “How To”
In the first two of our three part articles we analyzed and shared the discovered landscape of “What Is” in today’s blockchain technology development and what the landscape “Should Be”. To understand what is taking place in blockchain technology today, we looked at over 1,900 blockchain companies that are developing or plan to develop blockchain technology solutions. We examined the landscape of blockchain companies, their projects, investors, and the direction these companies were taking.
In this article, we share our suggestions on “How To” create mass adoption of blockchain based solutions in the market.
Avoid repeating known mistakes
To solve any business problem it’s critical to understand the root cause/s of the problem and not just react to symptoms. There is a famous saying that history repeats itself and if we don’t learn from it, we will repeat it. We need to understand why so many startup companies fail. We want to avoid making the same mistakes they did. Yes it’s also critical to learn from companies that succeeded.
Recently CBInsights compiled a list of 269 post-mortem essays from startup founders (non blockchain) to pinpoint the reasons they believed their company has failed. Their results clearly show that 42% of startups were working on solutions for which there was no market need. In the chart below, other key reasons stand out also. For example, 29% of startups ran out of cash and 17% of products had no business model. If the company is chasing a market that has no need for its solution, the company will burn cash at a high rate, not earn revenue and will quickly ran out of cash.
Drawing a parallel to today’s blockchain startups where in our analysis we found that 57% of startups are developing another blockchain platform and 25% of are developing specific applications without a clear target market, these startups are following the failed model. How do blockchain startups join the “How To” succeed strategy?
Adopting the “How To” succeed strategy
Today blockchain startups are repeating the same mistakes that failed nine out of ten startups of non blockchain businesses. In our analysis we found that blockchain startups are developing technology and applications without validating the market need. Almost all of the blockchain projects are pure technology and not business focused. Continuing with this strategy will certainly be a kiss of death for the startups.
So how does a startup shift its strategy towards success? Here are some proven tips used by successful companies on how to ensure that there is a market need for what your business is developing and plans to sell.
Validate the market need
Get out of the lab!
Don’t outsource … do it yourself
Talk to at least 50 people to gain insight into customer needs and if your solution meets their needs
Talk to people you don’t know
Don’t sell your idea, seek to understand the problem(s)
Ask why … a lot
Create Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Create the smallest feature set that enables you
To learn and receive feedback
Follow incremental and iterative interactions and not with a final product version
Don’t build a prototype
This is not a deployable version with the fewest features
It should enable testing a hypothesis
This may be a drawing, a slide, a wireframe, clickable workflow, etc.
Gather direct market knowledge
To create business success, knowledge is everything. Here are some proven guidelines from successful companies on how to gather knowledge.
You must know more than others know
Knowledge about customer needs will be your competitive advantage
If everyone already has this knowledge, than it’s likely too late because someone has already solved the problem you are solving or they will solve it soon
Knowledge must be firsthand knowledge and direct from target customers. There is no better substitute
Reading the internet should only influence your direction and it should not be the base for your decision. If you are a blockchain startup and you are developing or plan to develop your blockchain solution, examine how your company gets firsthand knowledge from your target customers? It’s never too late to shift your business strategy to put your company onto a path for success. If you don’t have firsthand knowledge from your target customers, you likely don’t understand the real market needs
Create a go-to-market plan
Before you build you final product, create a business roadmap that explains these four critical segments of every successful business.
Who your target customers are and be able to name specific businesses and geographic locations
State your value proposition that your target customers will understand and which will motivate them to invite you to their business
Define how you will sell and support your solution
Define your revenue plan clearly stating how you will earn revenue and how much
Don’t wait to complete your product, act now. If you need help, we will be happy to have a conversation with you. We want you to be the one in ten companies that succeeds. Why not become the company that helps create mass adoption of blockchain technology in the market and start the business transformation revolution.
About the author:
As a co-founder of BenchMrkPro, I leverage more than four decades of entrepreneurial experience in helping companies put the value of their solutions to work on behalf of their balance sheet. I have experienced firsthand many technology revolutions and helped many companies avoid common mistakes and instead helped create successful businesses.