If you can’t find early adopters, you can’t build a business

It’s as critical as that for you to get your early adopters or early users.

First of all, the discovery of early adopters gives you the first signal that you are not doing badly.

Early adopters happen to have the problem that you are trying to solve and so, when you discover them, you know the problem that you want to solve exists, and there are definitely some people out there who have the problem that you want to build a solution for.

In other words, early adopters validate the problem.

With their discovery, you turn your assumption that there exists the problem into validated learning.

They give the most valuable insights for product building. When you the starting up, just the way you start with the assumptions about the pain point or the problem, you also start with assumptions about a  potential solution that would work for the customers.  If you build a new product based on your hunches or assumptions about what matters to the customers, there is a chance that you may build something that doesn’t meet their key requirements.

You need customers’ perspectives, rather than your views about their perspectives.

When you find early adopters who happen to be aware of the problem and happen to be aware of how they think it needs to be solved, they will give you feedback and insights that you aren’t able to gain on your own.

And these insights are the ones that would ensure you build something with features that people want.

Building a product is NOT “the product” of your startup. Your business model is “the product”.  Once we acknowledge that the solution is not the whole product and that we don’t need to pretend to believe our made-up answers, we shift from pitching to learning — from other people – your early adopters.  They validate or invalidate all crucial elements of your business model – value proposition, channels, price, and more.

Working with early adopters allows you to ship early.  Early adopters will go for your product even if it is not a finished one. They don’t mind the bugs so no need to wait till “it’s perfect” before you ship.  As long as it meets the core requirement of theirs or you are willing to work towards what they need, they will be willing to live with you even with the not perfectly finished product.

Early adopters are a necessary step on the way to convincing the pragmatist customers your company needs to sign on.  The early adopters should help you get references to selling to your ultimate target market.

In the diffusion curve, the early adopters are the ones that represent the group that buys or uses a new product/service first. The early adopters are followed by the early majority, late majority, and laggards.  But there’s one thing you have to do before your early majority will jump on board – you have to get your early adopters.   Without Early Adopters, there’s no one to tell your early majority about your product. If you don’t get your early majority, no one will convince your late majority to use your product, and of course, you’ll never find your laggards.

Early adopters are the most critical element for a new business building.

If you can’t find early adopters, you can’t build a business.