Traction, while exciting for a startup, is not always good if it’s not within the scope of the the company and product strategy. If it’s outside of scope it can be a drain on time and resource, can cause the team to be slower to react to the right opportunities, and can generate lower returns than the company’s ultimate vision.
It can be especially challenging in large markets with multiple stakeholders to stay focused on solving the problem you set out to. When you’re doing customer development and talking to other stakeholders, opportunities can present themselves that you didn’t initially plan to address.
Taking these tangental opportunities can be a great way to bootstrap, however I suggest making sure you’re able cut things off when the higher return opportunities present themselves and making sure it’s not such a time sink that it prevents you from executing on your ultimate vision. The most notorious example of this bootstrapping strategy is AirBnb selling cereal to keep themselves afloat.
Bottom line: stay focused on solving one problem for one customer. Recruit the team and build the product that will help you execute on that vision. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
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