With a startup you are pushing out an idea. You will typically go through several iterations, pushing out a new design, or a different marketing approach … each time pushing through a new cycle of activity. Then at a certain point, you will start to see signs of “the PULL”.
That is when your users start to pull things out of you. They want you to fix something that doesn’t work or implement a new feature. Ideally you are iterating every week or day or even more often to solve problems. Soon you are getting feedback faster than you can react.
That’s real traction. It doesn’t have to be about huge user numbers (though that is always nice), but when users are starting to care enough about what you are doing to help you improve it, that is probably the time that you should consider going out to raise some outside capital to help you keep pace with the opportunity and figure out how to scale a real business.
Above, I am paraphrasing Paul Singh, Partner at 500Startups who joined us for a fireside chat in Toronto on September 10th. That is the kernel of wisdom that stuck with me as a unique insight from someone who needs to have his finger on the pulse of this kind of moment in a startup’s cycle in order to do his job with a fund that is probably the highest velocity seed stage investor in the world.
You can hear the full hour of audio at this link. There are a lot more nuggets to glean, it is worth the listen.
You can check out ITBusiness.ca’s full coverage here or if you are short for time, take four and half mins for their video recap above. Check out the photos here (including a great panorama of PlayThink’s live sketch). Or click here for a short voice over of the amazing live sketching that Patricia Kambitsch at PlayThink did to capture the major themes and ideas.