Being Everything to Everyone Is Tough

This week I caught up with an entrepreneur working on an interesting problem. When we first met months ago, he had just launched his MVP and was targeting both corporations and consumers. This immediately stood out to me. He was trying to serve multiple masters.

Corporations and consumers are totally different types of customers. Their needs are different and the sales processes used with them are different (if the solution isn’t self-serve). It’s certainly possible to have both as customers—if a company has adequate resources. Early founders should use limited resources wisely and efficiently.

This founder shared his 2021 plans with me. His team developed annual goals and strategized on how to achieve them. The data told them that targeting a specific consumer profile would likely be their best path. The founder also got feedback from his team that to provide an ideal experience to a broader customer base, they would need more resources. The founder listened. He narrowly defined the company’s target customer for 2021. His team rejoiced!

It’s hard for companies to be everything to everyone, especially in their early days. If you’re an early founder, consider focusing on one type of customer and one solution first. You don’t hear about many companies failing because they solved their customer’s problems too well or exceeded their expectations.