Note to future self…
Today we decided to pivot. Again. This is our fourth hard pivot. Every time we pivot we try to address the biggest mistake we made in our last pivot. I want this post to be a post-mortem of the things we’ve learned from our latest product. My goal is to eventually look back and see what we got right and what we got wrong. So here we go.
What we got right.
- Understand the problem: in our last pivot we had a clear thesis but we didn’t really understand the customers. This made incredibly difficult to build a compelling product. This product was focused on startups, which is something we understand and love.
- Mission: Houston’s mission is incredibly ambitious and we’re super passionate about it. This wasn’t necessarily true about our last products. This is incredibly important because it keeps us going when shit gets hard, which inevitably it does.
What we got wrong
- Business Model: this time we charged our customers and made our first $$. This was huge for us. However, we didn’t think about how could this build a meaningful business over time. We might have been a little short-sighted here but we just couldn’t figure out a business model that could support a large high-growth company, which is the type of company we want to build. Another mistake we made on the business model side was that we assumed that we could build a big business on multiple business models or products (à la LinkedIn). This was a mistake that we should have predicted. Moving forward we want to make sure that we can get to a significant scale on one product.
- Market: this goes hand-in-hand with our last point but it’s a little more amorphous. Essentially we didn’t think of the market that we were going after. We had a general idea of our audience but we didn’t really understand what market we were entering or how big it was. This didn’t seem super important because our product was unique but in hindsight I wish we focused more on defining this.
I feel that we’re getting closer. As long as we can keep iterating and closing that feedback loop we should be able to make it out alive.
Now back to work…