Thursday, September 25, 2014

All in Startup … the power that draws

by Dale Shumaker

All in Startup by Diana Kander is about how to launch an idea. Why do businesses have such high failure rates?  Kander outlines how to reduce the risk and have more success in making your idea work. Early in the book, she outlines four ideas to make an idea a success. In the rest of the book, she elaborates on them. With many stories and illustrations she provides examples that helps a person get a better handle on the idea.

Idea 1. Startups are about finding customers, not building products. An entrepreneur many times gets the idea, builds the idea, brands the idea, then goes looking for customers. This is the startup loop of despair. Find customers before building your product will guarantee that you build a product people actually want by figuring out what features and benefits are most valuable to them. So the process is idea, customer, build, and brand.

Idea 2. People don’t buy products or services; they buy solutions to their problems. The only way to find if your customers have a problem worth solving, and whether your ideas solve the problem, is to interact with the customer.

Idea 3. Entrepreneurs are detectives, not fortunetellers. Don’t waste your time debating with investors, partners or employees whether your idea is right or wrong. Instead spend the least amount of time and money gathering evidence that can prove or disprove your assumptions.

Idea 4. Successful entrepreneurs are luck makers, not risk takers. They have learned how to minimize risk and generate luck. They make a series of small, calculated bets to test their assumptions and find new opportunities. They only go all in when they know they have the best chance of winning.

Through the rest of the book with stories and illustrations she brings a deeper light to the above. Here’s a few of her principles which surface in the chapters.

The way to start a successful company is to solve problems that your customers are already experiencing, rather than try to convince them that a problem exists. Always interact with your customers to find out if your guesses are right or wrong. It’s about understanding your customer first and creating something that adds value to their lives. Put your customer and their needs before your vision for a solution.

Only the customer can tell you if you have a problem worth solving. The only way you can answer a customer is through a conversation with real people you don’t know who actually fit into your customer description. Test your assumptions, it’s never too late. Give your customers plenty of time to tell their story. It’s not a sales call. Their true feelings are not a direct answer to your questions. But learn what they feel now. Before
committing to any idea test your assumptions, especially with the customer.

Interview your prospective customers. Gather this intelligence and you will see you get lucky and strike gold. Don’t be all business. Be more conversational. Nothing else matters until you prove the customer wants your product. The owner, president should be the one talking to customers. He needs to know first hand. You act on things you gather yourself. Find out what the customers want you to do and act on that. Find the shortest distance from your customer to the solution they want.

It’s okay to be wrong, but interact with the customer to find the solution. Confirm your assumptions with small bets. You can go all out after you narrowed the solution to the best option for the customer.

More at

Spiritual Intelligence. The Scriptures say Jesus knew the heart of the person. He knew their intentions, motives. Unfortunately, he knew many of them were insincere. Many asked questions to try to entrap Him.

Although, from prayer He gathered Spiritual Intelligence. When He went off alone He was with the Father. There He was briefed on the motives of men, and what to expect the next day. The Father in Heaven gave Jesus precise instructions on how to answer everyone who asked Him questions, and how to deal with each situation. He knew their intentions.

This skill of how to respond to all men, came from these times alone with the Father. We have the same opportunity when alone with God, in His Spirit, and living with the insights of the Holy Spirit guiding us.

Today there is much variety, diversity in communication perspectives and lifestyle. Each person’s lifestyle has inside meanings to words and actions. It is hard to figure the frame of reference each person is coming from as that diversity has increased so much. Reading minds is a skill most of us don’t have. But we do have the potential to learn from the same Spirit Jesus did. That Spirit is available to us today. Jesus said He would send it to us when He physically departed the earth. So we can rely on the Holy Spirit and benefit from this intelligence… Spiritual Intelligence.

We can hear from our Spirit Mind. We have the Mind of Christ the Scriptures say. From this Spirit we can glean, benefit from inside information that only the Spirit knows. When in prayer and reflection in Spirit, the Spirit will communicate it through our minds.

Also, the Spirit draws people to us. Jesus said no one comes to Him unless the Father in Heaven prompts them to come. We have this available to us too.

We have a technologically advanced world. God can within His technology and other human relationship “technology” impress people to come to us, contact us, be impressed to get in touch with us. Or show up at a place where we are and want to talk to us more. Spiritual “technology” is so much more superior to human technology. We, as humans, will never get as sophisticated as His Spiritual technology.

We can know the customer, get insights about him that only Spiritual technology can make happen. Others can be impressed to respond to what we say and receive it through the Spirit, that nothing else can do. All who we associate with, partners, suppliers, contractors, employees, on and on, can be influenced with the same power Jesus had… the Spiritual Intelligence and power of God to draw all men to us. This Intelligence and drawing power can be cultivated in us. In His Spirit, Presence, time with Him it grows to be a functional asset in fulfilling our mission in what we do.