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Aug 12 / Vivi

A business is a puzzle in which the product is but one piece

One of the lessons I think I finally learned lately is that a startup is much more than just a product.

I think I finally understand that a business seems to be a puzzle in which the product itself is only one component.

Probably equally important to the success of your business seem to be

  • the network you build, which allows you to meet people that might prove really important to your success. I can see this first hand while meeting with people, which in turn introduce me to other cool people, which eventually end up serendipitously making a huge difference in how I build my business.
  • the pitch and your story because that’s the way you communicate to your users, investors and potential hires. If you’ve ever tried to convince somebody of an idea you’ll understand this. The difference between a bad pitch and a good pitch is amazing, and it’s so clear if you’ve communicated it right in how the other person responds.
  • your marketing and user acquisition strategy, because without it nobody will learn about your awesome product. I guess just like your pitch is your investor and support acquisition strategy, not being able to have the right story and pitch for your users will mean you will not convince anybody to use what you’re building.

I know I’m not saying anything new. The internet is full of such advice from people way smarter than I am.

It’s just that, as an engineer, these lessons are hard to learn, and I’m happy I finally learned them.


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  1. dragos / Aug 12 2012

    Hopefully you will realize that your team is actually more important than everything else :-) Good luck!

    • Vivi / Aug 13 2012

      Yes, the team too. Everything is important. :-) Though I must say that I have seen successful startups lacking in one or another of the puzzle pieces. I’ve seen teams that were not stellar, pitches that were not amazing, as long as they compensated in another area, they seem to be doing reasonably well.

  2. Cris / Nov 13 2012

    Congrats for the post, but what do you mean by user acquisition strategy? Isn’t this part of the marketing itself?

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