Customer Acquisition, Customer Acquisition, Customer Acquisition

As I talk to entrepreneurs, it’s apparent that the #1 challenge far and away is customer acquisition. The days of needing to raise serious cash to build a product are over. The days of worrying about scaling an app are over (see WhatsApp supporting 450 million users with 32 engineers). That’s right, if an entrepreneur shows up and hasn’t been able to get a simple prototype built and some people using it, they aren’t meeting the new minimum expectation.

As building a prototype has dropped to a few thousand dollars, it puts even more pressure on customer acquisition. If anyone can build a product, it makes sense that more products will get built, and more competition will emerge for the same potential customer.

Looking back, there are so many customer acquisition related posts that it makes sense it’s the most difficult problem to solve. Whether it’s Pick a Customer Acquisition Model that Make Sense, Lead Generation as the #1 Challenge for SaaS, or Double Inside Sales Rep Productivity in a Week, there’s no shortage of ideas to try.

Customer acquisition is much harder than entrepreneurs expect. In fact, it’s the hardest thing to master.

What else? What are some other thoughts on customer acquisition?

3 thoughts on “Customer Acquisition, Customer Acquisition, Customer Acquisition

  1. “As building a prototype has dropped to a few thousand dollars”.

    Maybe if you’re building software such as an app. But if you’re building hardware? Complex one at that? No way.

  2. David, please share more info on building a prototype for small amounts of cash. I’d be interested in both strategies for holding costs down as well as thoughts on what level of functionality constitutes a prototype. Thanks in advance!

    Chris Smith

  3. The biggest surprise has been WhatsApp. A 50 people company valued at $20B. The main idea behind customer acquisition is just to embellish the annual stats. There is a moment when the original purpose of a company disappears behind the large mass of customers. That is the moment when the company stops being cool and becomes just another big company.

    Will WhatsApp keep its identity under the Facebook umbrella ? Hard to tell. Let’s hope it will not become another Skype.

    Customer Acquisition should be an invisible process, flowing from the value proposition.

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