Eat Your Own Dog Food

Yesterday it occurred to me that although I’d been diligently conducting customer development and diligently using my own site, I had missed something important. Sure, I’ve been browsing the new ideas, making comments, looking for interesting projects I might contribute to, but was I really using our own platform the way it was intended?

No.

I hadn’t bothered to use startupSQUARE the platform to ask for advice on where startupSQUARE the business should go from here. That’ll change now.

Practice What You Preach (Dogfooding)

Eating your own dog food is when a company uses it’s own product.

One of the key functions of startupSQUARE is to help entrepreneurs find co-founders. Another is to get business advice. We don’t need another co-founder at the moment, so today I posted a question about how startupSQUARE should vet new members to the community to see if they had some ideas. Turns out they do.

I’m spending more and more time trying to vet new users as they apply. Some people enter very little information and I don’t activate their accounts while we’re in alpha. Some are simply in industries or locations where we probably can’t help. But a lot I just don’t get to or I do a quick read, which isn’t good enough.

So I’ve asked our own users how they’d like to see people added to the site. Should we continue to vet each application? Should we let everyone in? Should we let the users vet the applications themselves? Should it be invite only?

All Cards on the Table

I’ve liked some of the responses I’ve received already and I’m excited to see what improvements we can make when the community is directly engaged in the debates we’re having internally among the team.

So thanks in advance to the feedback from our users! We’ll keep doing customer development!

So…what should I post next? Tweet to tell me what to write:

Show me how to test product market fit!

or

How can I do lean startup in my friggin' huge company?

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