3 Stages of a Startup!
The 3 stages define the 3 riskiest moments for any startup, and those are:
Let's go 1-by-1 on each:
This stage is further segregated into:
a. Ideation: Idea Research & Validation
What is the problem/pain that you're solving?
Who is it for (targeted customer)?
Is this market large enough to build a scalable, profitable business?
Finally, what is missing in the existing products/services?
Fact: Everybody has ideas, yet 99.5% of people never execute them, and miss the ""entrepreneurship bus!
b. Minimum Viable Product (MVP): Product/Solution Fit
Can I quickly launch a bare minimum prototype (MVP) to validate this idea?
What features are a necessity to building an MVP that is differentiated/unique from existing available products/services?
Build the most basic, functioning features (highlighting the core concept of your solution) for early customers to test/use. Don't worry about bugs, there will be too many.
Use Minimum Viable Testing Framework for quick testing!
Will the customer use my product/service, and actually pay for it?
2. Product/Market Fit (PMF)
This stage proves whether your business model is actually working or not.
Are customers buying your product/service?
Is there a huge demand from your target market?
Do customers love your product/service (high reviews, low churn), and are creating strong word-of-mouth/referral sales for you?
Read: How to find out if you've achieved the Product/Market Fit?
Fact: More than 90% of startups fail, and the #1 reason is there was little/no demand for the product/service!
Fact: Finding the Product/Market Fit is the hardest challenge for all early-stage startups, and most of them fail because they couldn't get to their PMF.
Quote: Until you’ve found your Product/Market Fit, do not scale up, do not hire/grow the team, and don't drive for blistering/rapid growth, as this is the fastest way to actually kill your startup - Rajan Anandan, Sequoia India.
3. Scaling up (Growth)
Are you experiencing a strong (compounding) growth month-on-month, such that your resources can't cope with it?
Do you've the required resources and strategy to build a profitable, and scalable distribution business?
You might want to explore external funding for help on this!