Startups: That ‘Next New Facebook' is Great, But Market Acceptance Will Result in Funding

by Tom Dalton  on Monday, Jul. 9, 2012 12:00 am  

Tom Dalton

To the developers of the “next big thing,” Innovate Arkansas stresses the need to fully understand the problem or need being addressed.

What are the assumptions the developer is making as he or she is proposing the new product or solution?

And even more importantly, how are the assumptions being validated, and by who? It is at this very early conceptual stage of a new startup company that product development and customer development must be thought of as one and the same.

Who is better able to validate a need or a problem in the marketplace than the customer for whom the product is being developed? From day one, the startup founder should be looking to the product end user as his or her justification source of a problem or need.

Founders have to look to someone other than themselves to define market needs. This step will help convince investors that a new startup can add value in the market.

(Tom Dalton is director of Innovate Arkansas, a program of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Winrock International.)



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