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Ariel Snapp
Experience strategist, coach, writer, artist
Experience strategist, coach, writer, artist

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I’ve talked with quite a few small to large business owners, product managers and software startup visionaries over the years and many of them think much differently than I currently do about how to get a business or new product off the ground.

Contrary to popular belief, here are the things you NO LONGER NEED to have when you want to start a business or new product:

A logo or extensive marketing materials
A really well-defined business plan
A well documented plan of exactly what you’ll offer, including every service or feature
What do you still need to consider when starting your business or new product?

A lifetime commitment to your personal and/or business’s brand content through your social presence – in other words pull marketing via your most relevant platform
Depending on the business type, virtual or real, in person, local ways of finding people and partners (in other words real, genuine connection with people who also happen to build your business over time)
Figure out new and innovative ways to find your tribe and get them to try out your business/product idea
That’s it.

UXers might be well aware of this concept, but we need to figure out new ways to spread the word to start-ups, product managers and visionaries everywhere.

In other words, your product is not your baby, your business is not your baby, you may feel an emotional attachment to it, but it’s in your best interest to let it go and be aware of the best ways to adapt to what you need to do to make a great product and solve the right problems.

As parents we eventually have to learn to do this same thing with our real babies – love them but allow them to be who they need to be.

Now, I’m not saying that companies or products should not have missions or visions. Planning and visioning is essential. I think its essential to still have done the inner work personally, and for your company to know what your WHY is. What your purpose is at a more foundational level than the WHAT that you may have gotten emotionally attached to.

It’s never to early to test out the waters with potential customers. After you get the strategy in mind, test out the ideas of the WHAT with your tribe.

We can preach this all day long, but the reality is that most ‘regular’ people in the world do not think this way when starting a new business. They think, I have this amazing idea, I’m going to put a lot of time and energy into it, get funding, and basically take a huge risk to give it a go. So, when they get to that point, they are already over-invested because they have put their emotional and financial selfs into it. They cannot see outside of their tunnel.

This happens to small and big business alike.

While this process may still work for some, for most it is much healthier to have a general direction you want to head, a foundational WHY for what you want to bring to the world, and the commitment to pivot and adapt as needed to come up with something stellar.

You can get to brilliance sooner if you let go of “your baby” – your emotional ties to your business’s WHAT & HOW. 

This might mean that you do not need to invest heavily in branding or marketing right at the beginning, just enough to get a vision communicated. It might mean that you do not have to have that rich or deep of a product at the beginning.

At the beginning of an offering, finding new ways to generate interest and buzz about your product are more critical than the product itself. Finding ways to onboard customers while adapting your vision to suit their demands is the sweet spot.

Now, how can we better spread this word to non-UXers?! 

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