Creating a CAS company from the ground up has never been easier. In fact, is usually a violent, acceptable process that strains every fiber in your being? However, it is much more complicated if you go to it without trying and true process. After starting and scaling five successful companies, I can tell you that there is a repeatable process for building a successful sauce business; it can reliably help you fit into the product-market and then help you scale faster.
This does not mean that it is easy, but it does mean that you do not waste years of your life trying to find a solution that no one wants.
Begin with finding the right problem: At an early stage, the process begins by finding the right solution to the problem. Now, you already have a few guesses about that problem. However, regardless of your vision or belief, you must test these assumptions against a set of criteria against, for example, the questions that my co-founder and I used to evaluate the initial concept of our current organization Drift:
- Is the problem big enough?
- Is the market big enough?
- Does the problem have a recurring use case?
- Can we build the solution for the problem?
If this sounds like a simple, straightforward practice, then so be it. However, enough entrepreneurs do not ask themselves these questions at the beginning of their journey. We can successfully sort products for months or even years of valuable time construction that do not meet these criteria. This simple step will save you an incredible amount of pain and progression.
The only way to find product-market fit: Once the problem solved, it is time to create a barebones product that solves it and then test that product against the market. My co-founder Elias and I reached out to it this way: First, we personally spent hours every day in communities like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Product Hunt, giving prospects access to our products early and asking for as many opinions as they could offer.
We are happy if they respond to comments or our direct messages, but we always get deeper by asking them to talk over the phone or in a video chat. We hit the sidewalk in our city near Boston going to personal interviews and events. We have even taken flights to smaller events in the country so that we can personally communicate with potential customers. If it sounds bad, it does not. This kind of attention needed to gather intelligence from your potential customers, so that you can relentlessly laser on any product that they will actually use, pay for, and pay the price.