Topic: Endorsement & Promotion
According to Mike Newlin, “Genius is perseverance in disguise.” My persistence in building my product had to bear its fruit now, my only goal was to push my MVP to all my networking groups and related markets. Regardless, if my product reached its full potential or not it was functional enough to showcase to the public. In a nutshell, the next struggle that I had to endure was penetrating the market force.
With the completion of my school career, there was definitely a void in my life. Considering that there was a significant transition in my life, it seemed natural. It was my hope that I would be too busy to worry about it. As expected, working full-time didn’t permit me to time to remorse school. I barely had time to even work on my startup plans since my new full time position demanded so much preparation and time from me. I cannot say I didn’t foresee the time management issue coming, but it nonetheless until I was financially comfortable with my startup I could not leave the job.
Let’s time hop, going backward in time before I graduated with my masters before my product was finished. I had an idea about how I wanted to promote my product. I felt a decision had to be made about whether I would go after investors or customers. That is a classic startup decision to be made. If I went for an investor, I could pump that money in the business and hope that it gets popular, but it would be similar to having a loan. On the other hand, I could continue to bootstrap my effort by diving head first into our customer market. I would look to gain popularity with the product as it was right there and then. This is risky as I could expose my prototype too early in the market and subject users to a sub-par product. This in turn will deter all customers away from my product, however, if they like my product then investors will be knocking on my door seeking investments. Needless to say, it is a critical decision that had to be made and in hindsight I made that decision too hastily.
In the long run, I ended up trying both going after one method at a time, since they weren’t working individually. Looking for an investor with my prototype was my original idea from the beginning. It seemed natural to start with that, although I knew deep down it wouldn’t be easy. As I mentioned before in a previous article, finding an investor is an uphill battle. There are so many factors that are involved that it can seem impossible to impress somebody enough to invest in you. I looked to my networks, social media, networking events, and blind hope. It really took me a while to try something new for my business strategy. As an entrepreneur, you will go through many stages and epiphanies for your business. I thought that maybe I don’t have good enough business models, networks, users, or even credentials. These trials are a rite of passage that we all need to take to find the right path for your business. It may work and look easy for some people, but never underestimate the value of hard work and luck in play.
“People only see the results of success, but fail to see the struggle to achieve it”
After about three to four months of searching for a investor via events, Linkedin and networks all I had to show were false promises, rejection, and defeat. Maybe it was time to try something different.
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