When you’re trying to make something big, bold and innovative, there will inevitably be times where it doesn’t seem like things are going your way. Growth is slow and you might even start having doubts about whether what you’re doing will work or is worthwhile.
Those doubts creep into my head every now and then. Usually they’re fleeting but if they stick around for long I know to trust my gut and ask the hard questions.
This is a summary of the questions that I think every startup (maybe even every business that wants to grow or be better) should be on top of, or at least consciously thinking of:
Are people using it?
How often? For how long? What’s retention like?
What do those that use it love about it?
Focus on maximising this.
Who are the ones using it?
Can we define them? Can we get a dialogue with them?
Who do we think should be using it? Why aren’t they?
This reveals more than nearly every other question.
Where are we going?
What’s our vision? What’s the focus to work towards?
What do we need to do to get there?
Define steps. What needs to happen?
Who else is gunning for the same vision?
Keep an eye on them, but back yourself.
What changes in the market are coming soon?
Does your vision align?
What features are missing?
Is there a common feature that users want? What does your gut say?
What experience is missing?
What emotion does your product evoke? Where’s the wow?
What value are we delivering?
What do I get out of using it? Is it obvious or does it take weeks of usage to obtain that value? Is it a unique value in your market?
What forms habit in our product?
Do I have to remember to use it? Is there something more to it?
What questions do you ask to collect your thoughts and understand the big picture?