Building a software product is very hard.
But getting customers, revenue and steady growth is now the HARDER PART of the startup-to-scale game.
Great products are necessary but not sufficient.
It doesn’t matter if you are just starting or are already much bigger.
It doesn’t matter if your software company is bootstrapped or funded.
It doesn’t matter if you are a sales founder or a technical founder.
Building product is figureoutable and possible.
Perpetual growth or even growing to 10x bigger is not likely and it’s always very difficult.
This was the other way around 20 years ago. It was hard to build software but relatively easy to find big open markets.
That has changed.
Here’s how I see it:
1) Startups that start with customers in pain who will pay them to solve a specific problem before they build a product have a WAY better chance of success than looking for customers after the product is built.
2) I didn’t say it’s impossible to grow revenues in a big way, I just said it’s hard.
Plan accordingly. It just takes longer and it’s very complicated these days.
3) A successful business is an efficient customer acquisition and revenue growth machine. Figure out how to be great at that.
4) Customer and revenue quality are critical too. Start with quantity and grow with quality.
It’s product-LED growth.
Not product-ONLY growth.
A great product is necessary but not sufficient to grow a sustainable and valuable software company.
Getting customers, revenue and growth is still the harder part of the game.