In my experience there are some typical mistakes that tech start-ups make that the “business person” should help the company to avoid:
1. Interact with the intended market. Many tech start-ups are entirely focused on the technical side of the produce or service and risk overdeveloping this produce or service to an extent where it has no market.
2. Help eliminate waste. Many start-ups that are financed burn through enormous amounts of cash on armies of developers that spend their time on things the intended consumer is not interested in. Again, by interacting with the intended market this waste can be, if not eliminated, at least substantially shrunk as the company can focus on things the consumers actually buy.
3. Involve the intended consumers in the product development. It is easier to understand what the consumer want if he or she can voice early in the development cycle and guide the company to the more fertile grounds. Beta tests are not really the full answer to this challenge as they tend to be bug-finding programs more than sales programs so focus groups where real consumer questions are asked and answered.
4. Help the start-up understand what a “business person” can do and why paying clients are actually useful for a company and try convince the start-up that attitudes where the tech persons think a “business person” is only good for answering emails and keeping the books is an outright dangerous attitude for any start-up and mistake that might lead to eventual business failure due to professional pride.
5. The “business person” should focus on establish sales and marketing processes early in the company’s development so the company will not lose time when the product is ready to enter the market. How many tech companies have gone under due to lack of sales and marketing?
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