The one thing I've seen become a pitfall is when a software company invests too much specialization capital into keeping that first customer. I recommend that the company give their first customer exclusivity for a year or less.
Not to pick nit, but I think you mean where x is between 0- and 33.3%, elsewise you would be claiming that there's a possibility of your tips making a software startup three times as likely as a dead-on certainty to be successful.
Everybody needs are different. If you are building a product company (not a consultancy), trying to solve 100% of every customer needs is utopia and will end up in an unmanageable product that solves nobody's needs.
So yes, ask for and listen to feedback, but make sure to add new features only when it makes sense for the product itself.
Reads like golden advice. I bet one can apply these tips to other industries as well.
Can you elaborate more on STEP 1, how do you find those customers that have good, generic and commercial problems?
Great article. I completely agree and speak from experience. In one of the first companies I helped start 6 years ago, we worked in a vacuum for the first six months. Big mistake. When we finally took the product to market, we learned a ton about our prospective customers... and saw a major gap with what we put together and what they needed.
At the same time, I agree with Jack Button's post above. Customers are not going to dream up the "home run" product for you. I say let customer needs drive your product roadmap but you, the entrepreneur, translate those needs into killer features using cutting edge technology.
Actually, there is no reason to nitpick. His statement about the X being in [0,100] is fine.
It is possible to "increase the chances of success BY 300%."
It would be wrong to say "increase the chances of success TO 300%."