Lessons From Failure

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Michael Bohanes could teach you a lot about the perils of entrepreneurship. In this long-ish post on Medium he goes over 7 key lessons. One bit that really stuck out to me was:

This will be the number one lesson I will never forget and the absolute key to understanding Dinnr’s failure — we were not solving anyone’s problem.I should have found that out in my initial market research, especially in my 1–1 interviews.

However, we committed the big mistake of presenting people with the idea and asking them if they liked it and would buy it. And when people said yes, WE thought they meant

“launch it and I will buy”.

In reality, they meant

“I’m not entirely excluding the possibility that one day, when Ocado trucks run out of gas, supermarket doors get blocked by red-hot lava and restaurant waiters will, due to a mysterious leak of radioactive fumes emanating from commercial kitchen equipment, all be zombified and eat patrons’ brains, yes, in that case I might be tempted to purchase a trial product from you. Once. Then I’ll take a risk with the zombies.”

This is so true and one of the things you have to be extremely careful about when talking with your customers. Even late in my career I have worked with people who have more experience and should know better but don’t, and commit the sin of asking “Do you like it?”

Go read the whole post here.