๐Ÿ”† How to avoid 'complete failures'?

TL;DR โ€“ To build a lasting SaaS business, it’s your job to find what’s wrong with your idea instead of trying to find out what’s right.

This quote from my interview with Rutger Teunissen, Founder and former CEO of 24Sessions, represents a valuable lesson worth reflecting upon.ย 

First, a bit of context:ย 

In March 2015, his business started as an online marketplace for 1on-1 advice interactions. Although everyone related to the problem, the marketplace became “a complete failure.”

So I asked him: what did you learn from this to avoid making that mistake again? Here’s what he answered:

What I practiced afterward is to be way more critical of yourself. Seek out the pain, look for the resistance, and try to find problems.ย 

I often see other founders sending me these validation surveys, and recently I told someone, ‘It’s a great survey, but I already know the outcome.ย 

Super positive responses will come out of this because all your questions asked for problems that we know exist, but they’re not seeking out resistance in your model.’

Here’s the thing

Solid validation is critical to getting it right if you aim to build a lasting business.ย 

Instead of searching for validation and arguments in support of his idea, Rutger learned the hard way that he had to focus on seeking out resistance.ย 

You want to understand what hurdles you have to overcome. So your job is to find what’s wrong with it instead of trying to find out what’s right.ย 

That will give you a solid foundation to make the right strategic decisions.ย 

Everyone will thank you for that: your customers, investors, and employees.


Listen to the interview with Rutger (the quote starts at the 10.18 mark)


Question for you to reflect upon

What significant investments on your roadmap does everyone agree with because you’ve avoided seeking out what’s wrong with them?ย ย ย 


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.