When you’re just starting you have one main priority: validating that the problem you are trying to solve is in fact real. In other words, you want to find those people who currently have a pain point that you want to solve.
Figuring out who that someone is therefore crucial to your survival.
Who they are?
We want to look for people currently have this problem. And we want to look for people, who are looking for solutions,
Early adopters validate the problem. With their discovery, you turn your assumption that there exists the problem into a validated learning.
They provide the customers perspectives, as against your views about their perspective.
Without Early adopters, there’s no one to tell your early majority about your product. If you don’t get your early Majority, no one will convince your late majority to use your product, and of course, you’ll never find your laggards. Your entire growth process starts with and depends on your early adopters.
In short, you really got to get them.
Here are the signs to know if you are or are not with early adopters
Sign # 1- No signs of pain
- They do not have the pain point that you are trying to resolve.
- They do not have a pain point that is severe enough.
- Not actively seeking solutions for the pain point.
- Not enthusiastic about using your product they signed up.
- You need to do a lot of work to get them to invest their “time” into your product.
Sign # 2 – Lack of enthusiasm in usage
- They do not have the pain point that you want to solve.
- Triggers that create a desire for a better outcome for the customers are not strong.
- Your solution is not solving their pain point better in comparison to existing alternatives.
- Their existing habits or anxieties about new options that hold them back when going for a new solution like your product.
- Every now and then you need to nudge them to use your product.
- They don’t initiate usage on their own.
- They don’t initiate efforts to reach out to you.
- You don’t get quality, honest feedback.
- A lot of “dead” or inactive users on board.
Sign # 3 – They don’t share information about your product
- They are not enthusiastic about your product.
- You are not creating a significant value for them.
- They’ll not find other people and will not want to share your work with them.
- They will not spread the word about you.
- They will not stand up for you, fight for you and repeat your name where it matters.
- No new signups via organic way.
Sign # 4 – Inconsistent growth in traction
- Your product’s engagement with them is practically stagnant.
- You are chasing wrong users.
- You may have to look for pivot options.
- Inconsistent or zero monthly growth in revenues, new customers, new non-paying users.
- Unproductive marketing efforts.
To see or not to see
In my experience, many founders would see these signs and yet not take any corrective measure. Part of the reason is that, we continue to hope, some day existing users will prove to be early adopters.
Another reason is that we do not like to acknowledge that work that we did in past few months is not a great achievement.
But, knowing what works and what doesn’t early is the biggest achievement for you.
What do you do if you are not in a company of your early adopters?
So here are the two options for you, if you find in such situation.
Options # 1 – Pivot your business model
Which means, you continue with the customers that you got on board and work on getting insights about some other pain point for them which could be worked upon.
Option # 2 – Seek early adopters for current business model
Or, start doing work in locating real early adopters for your product.
- Early adopters are the most critical element for a new business building.
- If you can’t find early adopters, you can’t build a business.
- If you are not working with early adopters for your product, you better discover it sooner than later.