Worry about reaching a rough consensus on a product concept, a target customer, and your business model. Worry less about defining a detailed implementation of your product or service, and more about whether you have the domain expertise you need to engage your prospects and design the specify your offering.
The primary risk you face is not whether you can create a working technology but who will pay how much for it–and how to reach likely prospects. A big part of this stage is developing a team. This stage should be devoted to understanding the roles (“hats”) needed and assembling a team to fill them.
Great - you are ready to do business!
You are able to make a real proposal for the delivery or licensing of your product at a price. Continue your customer discovery interviews, but when a prospect expresses interest in your product make them an offer. Your goal is to get paying customers doing real work with your product. Focus on finding and delighting your first five customers.
Great - you are well on your way!
All your efforts should focus on finding and delighting your first five customers. Postpone tasks that are not needed for those first five customers. First sales are generally to friends who know and trust you. These customers can act as a reference for future customers. Selling to your first stranger is a huge step!
Great you are starting to gain traction!
Focus your efforts on a narrow set of core customers and establish your first niche. These core customers reference each other’s buy decisions and act as useful references for additional customers.
Now is the time to scale up!
Grow a sustainable business by growing your core customer base and expanding into new niches. Cash flow has become more stable and predictable. You need to expand from a small team of generalists to a collection of specialists. The challenge with this stage is that expenses usually lead increased income, so careful management of cash flow is the most important task.