Tal Raviv is Ecquire's CTO and he went through DreamIt in 2008 and GrowLab in 2011 and has great stuff to share in his article, After Two Startup Accelerators, What I Wish Someone Had Told Me.
I had never heard of him or the company.
I admit that I'm like most salespeople. I hate doing the mundane and the menial. I like finding people and I like meeting people. I do not like putting contact info into CRMs. I do not like putting contact info into spreadsheets. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I am.
It turns out that Tel's company, Ecquire, has created a way to make all that annoying shit easy so that sales people (or anyone) can focus on the relationship, not the details. It's freaking cool.
What's really cool, is that they knew (maybe #2 helped) that feature sets and more lines of code don't produce winners, awareness, adoption, and most importantly, sales do.
Tel says, "So, decide why you are here. Here are some examples:
- Figuring out if anyone wants this as fast as humanly possible
- Figure out if anyone will pay for this, and how much
- Build a rinse-and-repeat economical marketing machine
- Figuring out if we can resell this idea in X industry
- Double our retention
- Get to X number of daily active users
- Raise paid conversions from 0.5% to 2%
- Prove to investors that your company is not a risk and that their money is pure gasoline to your engine
The last one is probably the most common. This means users/revenue/testimonials/traction long before demo day. To achieve this, your real demo day deadline is 30 days prior to the accelerator’s demo day.
The worst companies don’t have a question they’re trying to answer. They’re just doing what they’ve always done…code a bit more every day, hoping that at some critical mass of features suddenly all their dreams will come true. That approach doesn’t belong in an accelerator.
For Ecquire, Paul and I needed angel funding. We knew that we had the biggest chance to accomplish that if we walked in with users, traction, and revenue."
Thank you for focusing on your ABCs and putting the "find the pain" 101 mandate of startup success central. And, thank you for making that totally not fun piece of relationship building a little less painful.