Three Clear Signs Your Startup Is Headed In The Right Direction

Pinning down your main idea and determining your startup’s value proposition is a difficult task. It’s even harder when you are innovating in a new space with a lot of intangibles.  

But there are ways to gauge value proposition and how it is fitting with your target market. Also important is determining how strong your general pitch is coming across to the people you are talking with.

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Photo: Rastariza via Flikr

Here’s are three ways you know you are going in the right direction.Speakers are demanding your solution

I attended StartupDay here in Seattle this last weekend and a very well know CEO of a well-known startup flat out described the problem Order SM is attacking and demanded a solution. He said “someone build me a system where I can order food, like a burrito, without having to call the business. I just want to text the order to them, pay for it and just swing by to grab it. Someone please build it!”  I heard this and about fell out of my chair  That is one of the main value propositions to Order SM, and we are rolling out with our beta test customers this week!

You know you are heading in the right direction when CEO’s and executives are flat out demanding your solution in their lives.

When You Pitch, People Get Excited

Each day when I am asked “what I am working on” or about Order SM, I proceed through my basic pitch. Every time, without fail, they react the same way. “dude, I need that! I would use that all the time! That is a great idea.”  

When you pitch your idea, do people respond with that much excitement and energy?  If not, I hate to tell you but your idea is not good enough.  It just isn’t.  If people are not moved by the value proposition your concept holds, the fact is not enough people will use your service/website/platform/technology for it to gain any attention.  

It’s a tough pill to swallow, I know.  My first attempt at a startup, Loyaltize, did not have a strong enough value proposition for people to jump at it. They usually would respond with “so, let me get this straight…. you guys are like…. doing X and Y? Is that correct?” I hated the fact that I had to describe what we were doing like 3 times before they really got anything from my pitch.

To be clear, if people don’t jump out of their skin when you pitch your startup…. go back to the drawing board to either re-word around a different problem or find a different idea. 

More Competitors

It seems like every day we are discovering new attempts at mobile ordering/texting/payments/messaging for local consumers. Some are going about it in the way we are; many are not. This is fine in our opinion. Our market is so young and fragmented, it still has a long way to go in terms of maturity before one platform really takes over.  

But one thing is for sure – it’s validated as an incredibly big market. Mobile payments, mobile communications, mobile ordering, local commercial CRM – all these markets are getting red hot and we are seeing much attention from numerous startups lately.  It is now coming down to who can execute with the optimal technology, team and time line.

If you are not seeing more and more entrants into your territory, that might be telling you something. The market might not be very promising or its too mature for any new players.  If you can identify this early enough you might be able to make adjustments before it’s too late.

If you are seeing growing action and innovation within your specific market, you are heading in the right direction.

@jnickhughes

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