Later, how to build an organization that scalably and repeatedly launches great products. Making money (distant 3rd). Find a hidden need. PROFIT!!!. Talk to customers. Test the solution with them. Be focused on your customers, not your competitors. Once you've found product-market fit, scale aggressively. Startup Phases: idea, prototype, launch, traction, monetization, growth. Did it work? If false, GOTO 1. Make sure you are talking to your target customers (be open to changing your view on who those are). Encourage them to give open and honest feedback. Being vertical is generally good advice, but if you are building a platform go horizontal first, then customize the vertical. Top early challenges at a startup:. Don't worry about scaling or monetization. ???. The best companies will create their own market. Build the solution to their problems. Don't overthink it. Most helpful tools:. Ask them to perform a task (you are not allowed to touch the phone). Minimum Remarkable Product. What are you a substitute for, what need are you serving better? What job are you being hired for? What are people trying to do?. Be young and stupid. Take calculated risks. Be an optimist. Never give up. Building a remarkable product. It is a lot harder to build a product that a lot of people really really want than it is to figure out how to make money from that product. Once you find product market fit start scaling the team. Customer Interviews (5-10). Be determined and know this is something people need and continue to work on it. What is your biggest unknown that I need to learn?. Finding product market fit. Talk to customers. Develop a market thesis. Rapid prototyping & user testing. Watch in extreme agony as they struggle to figure it out. Where are you getting pulled? Where are people hacking the thing you got and using it in a way you didn't intend? Double down on that. Listen to their problems NOT their solutions. Make something a lot of people want. Everyone is going to tell you your idea is stupid. If it's obvious, everyone would do it. UX testing sessions (3-5). Don’t write articles, don’t go to meet ups, don’t read the news. Have a great idea. By the time you've reached this step, you've likely looped ~27 times. Get someone to use your app in front of you. DO NOT SAY OR DO ANYTHING.