Why I think you should take early startup revenue even when it’s off target

I dropped this tweet today which got a lot of attention:

My #startup mentoring summation: no matter who you are or what your model there is *some* way to make revenue early. Do it. #leanstartup

I honestly believe this goes hand in hand with the true discipline of the Customer Development Process. The idea here is really simple: don’t start a company around something you think is a good idea, rather start it around something that someone else indicates he or she will pay you for. That’s the true essence of the MVP — it’s the least product someone will pay you for right now.Continue Reading …

Short term failure doesn’t matter in the context of forever

Since 1996 I’ve been a contributor to several teen leadership development organizations, my favorite of which are the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). I’ve designed and run RYLA programs for more than 2,000 teens in New Jersey and Tennessee. I credit most of my early managerial skills to these programs. I had to figure out how to build and scale real teams, none of whom got paid a dime, and all of whom were rabidly passionate about what we were doing, namely, changing the lives of teens who came from some of the richest and poorest zip codes in the country (together in the same room).Continue Reading …