Mousetrap on Termites: Build What Your Customers Want

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Don’t create the perfect product. Create what your customers want

A lot of times, teams try to produce the most perfect piece of product they can imagine. They want all the features, all the bells and whistles, and all the design implemented before they can launch it to their audience. By doing so, they spend a lot of time and money. When they finally launch it into the market, often times they realize that this is not what the customers want, and they have to revise it anyway.

Don’t make the perfect mousetrap if your customer has termite problems

Some people can spend years trying to build the perfect mousetrap, and then realize that their customer only has termites at their place. Now all that work is wasted. It would be much more efficient if you talk to the customer first, see what problems they have, go visit their house, or even live there for a few days to see the problems!

Building the best product by yourself means you assume that you are 100% like your customer

When you are trying to build the best product by yourself, you are building something that pleases you, not your customers. The only way this can work, is if you are 100% representative of your customers, which is rarely the case. Don’t be arrogant and think you know more about the customers than themselves. That might be true, but you would have better odds talking to them first about it.

Learn to Trust the Authority of Experts

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Learn to trust the authority of expert

Often times, there would be more experienced people trying to give you advice. However, it is so easy to dismiss it and say “No, that’s not the way. This person doesn’t understand our business.” However, after being on the side of the more “experienced” person, I realized how sometimes it is very straight forward for the expert, and clients or mentees just can’t see their work from a third person perspective while being too attached to what they already have. After that, I have fully learned to trust the people who have more experience and expertise in a field that I haven’t been a lot of time in.

Imagine talking to yourself ten years later. I’m sure the you ten years later will tell you that you are doing lots of things incorrectly. I’m also sure you will listen because you believe that person has more experience than you right now and will tell you what is correct. Now the expert is somewhat like the you ten years later in the narrow field that he is expert about. Why would you not listen to his experience over your speculation?

Trusting the authority of experts is actually a skill that requires some heart to learn too. Try to learn that today.

How do you know who to trust?

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Who to trust?

You always hear stories about people who get screwed over by their friends that they trusted. How do you prevent such from happening to you? Here are a few principles.

If someone behaves shadily to someone else, they will eventually do that to you too

The key to knowing who to trust is not how close they are to you, but what their core values are. When there are no zero-sum game going on between you, it’s easy to be friends. However, for some people, once they can get some advantage by screwing you over, that becomes an obvious choice.

If you have a friend who often talks about how he tricked someone else, even though he told you because you are buddies, you have to be careful of his later on. On the other hand, if your friend is always talking about how to help others, then even if you are not as close of a friend, you can trust them more.

This is like judging if you want to date/work with someone based on how they treat waiters and waitresses. If they treat you will, it just means they want something from you, but you can evaluate they true personality by how they treat others.

Careful of those who just talk about making money

If you are working with someone who just talks about money all the time, you should be careful. In their minds, making money is one of their high priorities in life, and even though working with them as partners might get you to gain a lot, it also means that there are chances that they will screw you over for a big enough paycheck. If a person always talks about “creating an impact” or “changing the industry” then you have a better feel of what motivates them and you can trust them a little better.

There is nothing wrong with wanting money or working with people that just want money. However, it’s a good red flag to raise before you completely get screwed over by someone who has been treating you well for three years.

Build your reputation with trust

In the same way, you want to build up your reputation with the right values too. If you are always talking about making money and showing off how you ripped off some stupid person, not only do you sound sleezier, but overdoing that will cause people to trust you less. Idealy you don’t want to ever be shady and do thing with integrity, but either way, you don’t want to promote that part of your personality to people.

Rather sound altruistic and naive than too materilistic and calculatey. A lot of people would want to work with you if they think you are easily tricked, instead of thinking that you are out there to trick people.

A recession is the best time to invest in startups, but not the best time to raise funds

Invest in early stage startups in a recession

A recession is the perfect time to invest in startups because

1) You get MUCH better deals with valuation
2) Each dollar gets you more stuff
3) A much bigger talent pool (not just labor pool) that are unemployed and ready to move to a startup
4) Competition Haven: large companies are not expanding but shrinking; new companies are scared to start

One of the few problems with startups in a recession, is that they have no cash to take advantage of the benefits. But if you are an investor, you solve that problem! Before your cash was just necessary to not fall behind. Now your cash becomes a competitive advantage!

Startups should not waste time raising money. Focus on being lean and sustainable

Raising money is time consuming and dysfuctional for growth (like digging for water in a dessert). Instead of begging for money from people who don’t want to give you, focus on making your business more valuable.

Be as lean as possible. Your goal is not to run fast like a cheetah and burn out. Your goal is to be a cockroach and survive lava. As time goes by and the economy recovers, you will be the last man standing. Battles are won not by how many enemiese each side has killed, but who has the last men standing.

Viralogy launches two more projects to empower the Blogging Community

Our goal with Viralogy is to provide the platform that helps promote all of the great bloggers in our community. With the Viralogy Blog, we reached out and did video interviews with some amazing bloggers. My co-founder Jun did an extraordinary job at it!

Today we’re launching two more projects to power up the Blogger’s Community: Viralogy Experts and Viralogy Themes:

Viralogy Experts

Viralogy Experts
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