…It's crucial to nail down who they are, how big a segment they are, and the problems they face. Mark Suster does a great job outlining how to narrow down your target market in his article titled: Who Are Your Customers: Elephants, Rabbits or Deer ?
A recent article on building customer loyalty says it best: "define a unique niche and become the customer's expert on it." If not, you might have a product on your hands nobody wants.
I love to refer to Mark Suster and the way he uses elephants, rabbits, and dogs in an exercise to visualize your customer without overdoing the research.
Elephants - Will Push You Around
Elephants are the, the , the Apples which will pay you millions of dollars for your product. It's the dream to land one of these companies as a customer when you're a startup. If you kill one elephant they can feed you for a very long time.
In the case of my buddy, …
…counting my freelance production artist work in Chicago before I discovered programming. Suster reminds me of those crazy fundamentalist preachers in the desert -istan countries who call women sluts because they wear clothes that make their ankles visible. By his standards, I'm the Whore of Babylon.
Before I go into why I think Suster's argument is worthless, let me pause to give it some fair consideration. First of all, his argument is mostly a tautology: you shouldn't …
The disclaimer: Mark is definitely more of an authority on the topic than I am. He's a VC and has run companies while I'm currently bootstrapping my own and haven't hired anyone yet. Additionally, there are many people in management and hiring positions that would agree with Mark (based on my own anecdotal conversations with people in hiring positions).
The background: I'm guilty of being in the category of disloyal, self-serving, job-hopping scum that Mark is writing …