This past week at Vol Court, Chris Van Beke (of MK Enterprises and entrepreneur-in-residence at Tech 20/20) discussed how talking to customers and finding out what they really value is the foundation for determining a business model (how to make money) for any start-up company.
The stars must have been aligned at that point, because coincidentally, one of Nashville’s most prolific bloggers, Milt Capps, wrote a story about Will Overstreet, a graduate of UT’s College of Business Administration and CEO of Voices Heard Media, where Will echoed that message.
Voices Heard Media has technology that enables media companies to engage members of their audiences with celebrities, athletes, newsmakers and the like. When asked what he would have done differently when starting up his business, Will said, “I would have worked a lot more with customers, early on.”
Read any book, blog or article on starting up a business, and it is a message that is repeated time and again. If you haven’t done it before, it can be very uncomfortable, especially for scientists and technologists. It’s really hard to hear the words, “your baby is ugly,” but it’s better to hear them before you’ve sunk your heart, soul, time, and sometimes life savings into a business that is never going to get off the ground.