Is Your Business a Feature?

22 Nov 2011

I am amazed by some of the funding news making the rounds. Are Angels/VCs funding apps or businesses? Maybe the team has a glorified future plan that impressed the VC’s. Lucky and good for them. Though, merely having a feature is not going to cut it. Are we in a bubble?

I am secretly hoping that the entrepreneur is not stoping at the feature. A feature will take you to the first 100 customers. To get more, you need a business — vision, mission, philosophy, creating your tribe (as Seth Godin puts it), and ofcourse, a powerful product. Your product needs to be an integral part of your customer’s business. Just because he is using your feature today does not mean he is going to use it tomorrow. Someone else will come with that exact same feature and include it within their core app. Then what? In the Cloud, it is somewhat easy for small businesses to switch providers. They don’t have a big capex with your company.

Take for example a website feedback/poll widget. Personally, I think it is a feature that can be coded in a couple of days. Sure, it is a start to something big. That “something big” needs to show up when a customer signs up. You need to include them into your entire vision.

We were a feature in our early days. Had we been just a mere task management app we would have been killed by now. Ironically, I am amazed to see just task management apps getting funded. Wow!

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