If you’ve borrowed money or sold shares, you’ll need to build something that’s worth more than your labor. Here are some key pillars where value lives:
The network effect
Smallest viable audience
Customer traction is the big one. Every day, are there more people who would miss you if you were gone? More customers who don’t want to switch to save a few dollars? More organizations that are building their future around what you do?
Permission is the privilege of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to the people who want to get them. It’s not a legal construct, it’s an emotional one. Who wants to hear from you?
Distribution is a practical way to measure brand. How much shelf space do you have? Mental shelf space and physical as well.
The network effect is built into your product or service. Does it work better if I tell my friends and use it with them? Is this actually happening or are you simply hoping for it?
And the smallest viable audience is the building block of all of this. Have you figured out precisely who it’s for? And do they agree?
A startup exists to find and build assets like these.