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Being Helpful – Interview with Kevin Dewalt

Being Helpful - Interview with Kevin Dewalt by @TriKro

Stashed in: Lean, startup

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What worked for Dropbox does not work now.

What I teach is based on what I do and what I see working for other startups. I wasn’t working with Drew when he did the DropBox “viral video MVP”, so I don’t actually know what is myth vs. truth. Drew himself probably doesn’t remember.

I do know that there are now (at least) 1,000x more products being launched worldwide than in 2007 when Drew started – all screaming for attention. If you don’t believe me, check out Product Hunt. Or your email inbox.

Q: Everyone is uncomfortable when they first get out of the building, but do you have any advice for entrepreneurs that are genuinely uncomfortable or just outright dislike talking to their customers?

Yes. I tell them to do something else. If you can’t really empathize with the people you’re serving you’re going to be miserable and quit – I’ve tried it myself. When you’re serving people you care about, the 2am support calls are a chance to help out a friend in need – not a life disruption.

I actually think the best way to start a company today is….

  1. First pick the market – the people you want to serve for the next 10+ years.1
  2. Begin helping them through the approaches we teach.
  3. Look for problems they have and solutions to solve them.

Why? Because the hardest part of getting started is RELATIONSHIPS.  You can pivot ideas instantly.  Pivoting markets takes months or longer.

We’re now getting the data to backup this strategy.  After taking 200+ entrepreneurs through our course we’re seeing that entrepreneurs who can create opportunities to help customers 1-on-1 are able to sell.  It is a great early-success signal and one that I’ll be using to vet Angel investment opportunities.

Be careful though that the solutions don't take years to develop or it's a much tougher road. 

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