Continued from Part 1
3 gradations of this thing
- Founders who build the product for themselves have a huge advantage: founder market fit.
- HP theory (in the old days) – the “next bench theory” – each bench would make the product for the next: voltmeters –> oscilloscope –> down the line; adjacent markets.
- Hardest, and lucrative becuase it’s harder: building for something you’re not. Lots of enterprise companies are this: Workday (HR and financial software). Professional product management really matters.
Eric: You and I both lived through the dot com crash. People don’t understand what that is.
Marc: It informs a lot about the psychology of Lean Startup, which is a direct reaction against “go big or go home” from then. A lot of psychological damage done to people who went through it — both entrepreneurs and investors — I think we’re halfway through it. I actually think all of the dot com ideas were correct ideas: they were just early. It’s hard to name an idea, even the crazy ones (like Webvan) — those business all work today. Amazon grocery stations; diapers.com was successful — industry magazine (800 pages every 3 days of ads of companies selling to each other was a good business model while it lasted = legal pyramid scheme lol) — it’s literally a catalog of startup ideas that are working today. In early 90s, only 50 million people online and mostly on AOL.
The dot com bubble itself, I think, was only 18 months long. We think it’s 5 or 6 years. Dotcom bubble was bad, crash was bad, only 18 months out of 20 years – put a stake in it and bury it.
Eric: I hear of complaints form all my friends who are VCs: entrepreneurs are coming into their office with the same garbage pitch but leanwashed. Would please tell them to stop doing that?
Marc: Yeah for a while “disruptive” was the thing.
Eric: Yeah so sorry about that. Most common misconceptions that people bring to you.
Marc: The thing that drives us most crazy: Lean Startup used as an excuse to not take sales/marketing seriously. We see this all the time. ”All that matters is product! if we build it, sales/marketing will happen by magic! If you build it they will come!” that’s the sales/marketing version of the problem that lean sovles on the product develop side.
Read Part 3