Forget “stealth” mode

Just read this comment in the google group “lean-startup-circle”.  Author Mike Brown from Indianapolis was kind enough to share:

“I see so many people saying, 1I’ll tell you what I’m doing after you sign an NDA.’ …Unless you’re talking about some really deep technology that REALLY pushes  the bounds of what we do (think Project Natal from Microsof), you most likely aren’t the only one doing what you’re doing.

… The sooner you get a working product that your users can play with, the sooner you can get feedback and in many cases ideas that will significantly improve your product. Going stealth I would argue (counters that approach). Think about it in terms of software development. With software… one primary goal is to get a working application in front of  your stakeholders quickly so that they can provide feedback as the application is evolving.  (That) avoids the problem of spending a year working on a project only to get feedback at the end from the customer that you totally missed the mark.

If you want to kill a startup, the quickest way is to spend a year developing a product that no one wants because you were in ‘stealth mode’…. By letting people know what you’re doing, you’re likely to get a lot of feedback that you’d pay a lot of money to get otherwise. Such as ‘this reminds me of…[insert competitor you didn’t know of]’ or ‘I’m building something similar, want to team up to make a unified product” or “I like [feature x] but I really wish I could do it by [method y]’. All of this feedback can be used to help you adjust your launch trajectory.

That’s the true definition of Lean (startups).

2 Responses to Forget “stealth” mode

  1. Hsiang says:

    mistake I made was that I thought that when people did not “get” my idea right away it was because of my inability to convey the idea properly. If people don’t get it from your 60 second elevator pitch, that means the idea is too complex to work and will need to be simplified.

  2. jchunter says:

    yes, i’ve read a lot about lean startups from, who created IMVU. That’s an interesting story, as Google bought the source code for their project, but the creator changed gears and was able to beat Google out.

    The lean startup makes sense, since then I’ve simplified my business plan and I’m ready to get the site live. It’s made my business expensives quite less to get it started also.

    We think that we know what people are going to want, but the truth is the customers shape and form companies.

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