Hosting 29 Atlanta Startup Villages has provided significant exposure to about 125 early stage technology companies (we’ve had a few that had 4 companies present).
Each early stage company has a unique story. What they do, why they should be on stage, and most importantly who’s using their product. The companies who start with how their customer uses the product are always the best.
It got me thinking how different entrepreneurs in the Village communicate about their company.
Some folks talk about their space. Others talk about what their product does. The best talk about how their early customers use them.
Before an entrepreneur has product/market fit, their market and hypothesis is all they have (both are likely to change). Either way, at this point, I hope they are speaking in absolute truths.
However the best entrepreneurs get customers talking about their product. Not just friendly’s but real users paying real money for their product. The customer reference is a very valuable asset an entrepreneur can get in the early days of product/market fit.
In Rivalry’s case, I’ve individually sent this one reference from General Electric to 2000+ prospects.
As I continue to learn everyday from entrepreneurs, I’ll try to steer the conversation around how their customers are using the product. And if they are using it, do they like it enough to take 15 minutes to write a review of it?
The more an entrepreneur talks about their customers and documented references of pains being solved, the stronger their story.