Who are your customers?
When exploring startup opportunities, I believe the most important first step is deciding who you want your customers to be. In my view, good customers are:
- Wealthy / If your customers have money, it will be easier for you to make money from them. This could mean your customers are wealthy individuals spending money on themselves, or they could be corporate purchasing decision makers with resources at their disposal.
- Motivated / If your customers are highly motivated in their work and life in general, then you’ll have a shorter sales cycle. For example, it’s better to sell to the founder of a company than to a low-level 9-5 office worker. Also, if your customer is motivated, then it’s likely their projects will succeed and grow, which could lead to more revenue for you.
- Interesting / You will spend a lot of time with your customers. Ideally, they are people that you want in your life in general. Maybe you socialize together, you could start a company or hire each other later, you could invest in each other’s projects.
- Intelligent / Related to motivated and interesting, but a distinct dimension.
Looking at this list — it’s clear to see the appeal in selling to startup founders or software engineers. As an engineer, you don’t need to work with customers directly all the time, so these considerations are less important. But as a founder, it’s a huge part of your day-to-day experience.