One of the most prevalent problems I see with tech founders is that they spend a lot of time and effort developing something, but haven’t objectively verified that it will actually solve enough of a problem for someone that they would be willing to pay for it.
When this happens, there is no business, just an expensive hobby.
Here is a humorous article describing a (non-space) founder’s experience. The lesson here is to realise that everything you think you know is an assumption, and while it’s less exciting than building tech, there are always very cheap ways to validate whether those assumptions hold true - do you actually have a customer?
It’s easy to get caught up in the fun of building something that appears great. It’s not only inexperienced founders that fall for this trap, either. Large corporations like Google with the Google Glass make the same mistakes.
This mistake is especially easy to make if you’re a deep-tech startup founder with a lot more R&D ahead of you before you are likely to exchange money with an actual customer. Discovering whether you have the solution to a problem, and confirming that there are going to be customers ready to hand over their money when you’re ready to serve them, is not usually as fun as building a cool piece of tech (at least if you’re engineering inclined), but it is valuable to do before you’ve wasted a lot of time and effort on something that turns out to be another great idea with no customers.
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