As I was writing my most recent issue of Entreprneur-ing In Public journey log, I seem to have gotten a bit too deep into my “feels.” I don’t know what happened. It was late. I was tired. For whatever reasons, I guess I felt like lamenting how hard it is to build a startup.
Within minutes of publishing the log, I started getting supportive comments and messages from all of you sharing your own stories of struggle while encouraging me to keep going. It was, in a word, awesome.
Thank you. All of you. You’re all the best.
Entrepreneurship is harder than anyone ever likes to admit. In fact, I guarantee every entrepreneur you know is struggling right now. You probably can’t see all the struggles because entrepreneurs are trained to pretend like we’re always “crushing it.”
NEWS FLASH: even though everyone pretends, nobody ever feels like they’re actually crushing it. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs you know probably thought about quitting within the past week.
With this in mind, I want to encourage everyone reading this issue of EOH to take a moment today to share some words of encouragement with a fellow entrepreneur. It might not seem important. Heck, it might even seem trivial. But I promise it isn’t. You’re going to give that entrepreneur a much-needed motivational boost that’s going to help them overcome whatever challenge they’re currently facing.
You all did that for me this week, and I’m grateful for it. Now go do the same thing for someone else!
Do the Best Entrepreneurs Optimize for Quality or Quantity?
Some entrepreneurs are obsessed with quality. Others want scale. Which is better? Let’s find out…
Here’s How Much Traction Your Startup Needs in Order to Fundraise
Luckily, one of the most common questions startup founders ask is also one of the easiest to answer.
Office Hours Q&A
So here is a question for you regarding product-price fit.
Many startups struggle to align product value to a scalable pricing model. How do you recommend managing pricing changes for very early stage startups that have some paying customers, but need to increase or alter their pricing methods to align product/price value to scale their business?
I assume you’re asking this question because you’re concerned customers are going to be upset that they’re getting charged more than other customers (or they’re upset with pending pricing increases). This is a common concern lots of entrepreneurs struggle with but is actually quite easy to solve: you change your price to whatever you want, and you don’t worry about the fact that customers paid different amounts in the past.
That’s the solution.
Prices change, and sometimes people end up paying more or less depending on when they purchase. It’s a reality of nearly every business, and consumers don’t generally care.
For example, in my last company, we originally thought we were going to have a “per seat” pricing model that was something like $25/seat/month. Unfortunately, most customers were only buying one seat, so we changed our model and started charging a flat amount of $499/mo. As a result, we had some customers paying $25/mo and other customers paying $499… 20x more!
The huge discrepancy didn’t matter because the people paying $25 obviously weren’t going to complain, and the people paying $499 had no idea other people were paying significantly less. Plus, even if they did know about the pricing discrepancy, it wouldn’t have mattered because the customers who agreed to purchase at $499 believed they were getting $499 worth of value (otherwise they wouldn’t have bought the product in the first place).
The only reason entrepreneurs worry about this kind of stuff is because they assume their customers obsess as much about their companies as they do. News flash: your customers don’t think about your pricing model nearly as much as you assume they do. In reality, they hardly notice it.
Instead, your customer is focused entirely on value. If your product delivers enough value in exchange for the amount it costs, people will buy. If it doesn’t, they won’t. That’s all you need to worry about.
Got startup questions of your own? Reply to this email with whatever you want to know, and I’ll do my best to answer!
Thank you! Great points about: “Entrepreneurship is harder than anyone ever likes to admit. In fact, I guarantee every entrepreneur you know is struggling right now. You probably can’t see all the struggles because entrepreneurs are trained to pretend like we’re always “crushing it.”
And NOBODY sang about it better and more beautifully than Leonard Cohen, RIP. So, I recommend using his song “Waiting for the Miracle” as an… entrepreneurial anthem?
“Nothing left to do
When you know that you've been taken
Nothing left to do
When you're begging for a crumb
Nothing left to do
When you've got to go on waiting
Waiting for the miracle to come
When you've fallen on the highway
And you're lying in the rain,
And they ask you how you're doing
Of course you'll say you can't complain
If you're squeezed for information,
That's when you've got to play it dumb
You just say you're out there waiting
For the miracle, for the miracle to come”