Your customer is the light at the end of your startup’s tunnel

We recently asked fifteen high profile African tech startups to complete a home-grown life stage assessment, and the results were interesting to say the least. They still believe if they build it, the customers will come.

We recently asked fifteen high profile African tech startups to complete a home-grown life stage assessment, and the results were interesting, to say the least. Let me start with describing the average tech startup, if we just took a simple average across the companies per business pillar, in terms of maturity of the business self-assessed against each pillar.

Product & Technology trumps the top of the list:

By far the highest-scoring of all nine categories, these tech startups were almost 70% comfortable with their product. This almost confirms the age-old adage that tech startups love their product so much, and wonder how they can get their customers to love it too, as the numbers that follow clearly indicate a big gap between the Product & Technology category, and the rest.

And then the rest followed with almost a 25% difference to the second-highest score:

Marketing came in with the second-highest score at only 46% in terms of maturity of the business pillar, followed by Strategy at 44%, Finance at 40%, Legal & IP at 37%, Sales at 36%, Operations and People at 34% and Funding and Valuation at 33%.

So, if this is a snapshot of the ‘average’ startup, perceived to be high profile, and destined for growth, it goes without saying that extensive work is required once the tech is up to get the customers to come and buy. It simply isn’t a case of build it, and they will come, but as we know, a case of building it because you know why they want it, and then work really, really hard at getting them to buy what you built. A business is nothing without revenue, and the sooner startups click that they should place just as much focus on strategy, marketing and sales as they do on the actual tech, failure rates of tech startups may well reduce, and robust businesses built for the long haul will emerge. Nothing trumps sales. Paying customers are better than a promise of potential funding rounds. Every time.

We will work with this group over the next twelve months, especially in the areas of Sales, Marketing, Operations and Strategy, and test our hypothesis of what more customers, sooner, can do for a tech startup earlier on, and report back here in a year.

Share This Post

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Access to Information
Catherine Young

Six pieces of information any startup should have readily available.

Having run my own businesses for the last ten years as well as work with literally hundreds of startups, across all life stages, over the last decade, these are the top six pieces of information I always want at my fingertips, and it provides me with a sense of what is really going on in my business at an immediate glance.

Access to Funding
Catherine Young

Five feather-ruffling lessons from a seed-funding round going bust.

Funding rounds are taxing to say the least. Whether you are running your first uncoordinated family and friends round, or preparing for a large Series B event, by which stage you are well versed in the world of fundraising for your business. Here is a tale of a seed round gone wrong.

Do You Want To Boost Your Business?

Drop us a line and keep in touch

SEND US A MESSAGE

If you would like us to contact you, please send us a message by completing the form

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.