Management of a startup can be thought of as a four dimensional challenge– the challenge to develop a valid business model, to find and develop customers, to develop artifacts that test the business model, and to perform those tests. Each of the four dimensions require attention and management.
The goal of a startup is to create/find a good (valid) business model. The customer is the ultimate judge of the business model through his buying behavior (and buy signals). Experimentation is the means to discover more more quickly and more early in the process whether the business model is valid.
The Business Model. A valid business model is the ultimate goal of startup.
Customers. When developing a startup, you may not need a lot customers at any given point to test your business, but over the course of your project you may “use up” a lot of customers. Your initial ideas ideas may be flawed and initial prospects may not come back to you after an underwhelming initial experience. It’s important to embrace this reality and be willing to go through a good number customers.
Customers need to be continually recruited to test out the business and this “recruitment” process needs to be managed.
The “Product”. The product is re-framed as the artifacts needed to test the business model. The “product” eventually becomes the real product.
Experiments. Experiments are the means the learn from customers about the busines model as presented by the “product”.