This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Bill Kenney is the founder of MEET (My Expo and Event Team), which helps B2B growth companies effectively leverage at trade shows and in-person events, thereby ramping up sales for its clients. Bill also founded Test My Pitch, which is an online platform where entrepreneurs and business professionals draft, share and receive feedback on their idea pitches and self-introductions. Bill was present at Startup Istanbul 2018, where he delivered a keynote speech to Startup 100 where he talked about startups and entrepreneurship.
According to Bill Kenney, practicing the word entrepreneurship is as hard as its spelling, but using a 5 thoughts approach, entrepreneurs can find better experiences at startup events. Entrepreneurs need to define winning with other metrics that do not include winning funds, and this brings us to the idea of Bread.
In the US, bread is a word that has many meanings which the most often meaning is the bread we eat, but it is also a word that means money. As companies, what we do most of the time might involve; having an idea, doing a survey, and taking that as a form of validation for our idea.
This causes us to make an MVP (minimum viable product) which is a simple version of our product and then we go to the market with it. A lot of people spend a lot of time on their idea before they spend time with customers, which is dangerous. The challenge here is that, when doing surveys for your product, the only survey that matters is the one that determines whether the customers are willing to pay for your service or not.
Most times, your customers want to make you feel good and avoid hurting your feelings, if you ask them “do you like my idea for this travel app” or “do you like my idea for this home cleaning service”, they will say “oh yes, it is wonderful”, but when you go further and ask “do you want to buy it?”, they answer “no” most of the time.
This is very normal and most times we get a lot of false positives. Today, what this leads to is that there are a lot of solutions looking for problems when we want to have problems that desperately need solutions, we want customers who will stand in line to get these solutions.
You want to focus on the things that revenue provides, one of them is fuel, the best form of investment for you as a startup is customers paying you money, it is better to get customer dollars than investor dollars. You don’t get to share customer dollars, and it is the best form of validation for your startup.
It is also a key performance indicator for your startup, showing you that you are doing well. Also, funds earned