PART 3: FINDING SOLUTIONS
If customers don't want what you're selling, what's the point of providing it?
Each entrepreneur we talked with stressed that businesses have to be built around an existing customer need, or a problem for which customers don't yet have a solution. When times get tough, customer wants quickly disappear, while needs stick around through the business cycle.
BRANDON SHUEYShuey is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Fliphound, an online tool that manages digital billboards and connects marketers, advertisers, billboard managers and more. Shuey considers himself a serial entrepreneur, as he has been a software developer from an early age and is constantly looking at what's next.
JOHN HARRISONHarrison is the founder of Filimin, a unique, wi-fi enabled touch lamp that allows users to communicate across distance with a simple touch to the lamp. Harrison has a background in music and engineering and originally created Filimin as a personal gift to his family before taking it onto Kickstarter.
FRANK HOPKINS & LEVI FITZMIERFrank and Levi were the F and the L in FNL Denim, a premium custom jeans shop and online retailer that recently closed after a little over a year in operation. These entrepreneurs are currently looking for their next adventure.
Photo by Kevin Wildt for We Are Wichita.
Here are a few extra insights from our entrepreneurs:
I think every business owner has made this mistake because they think they know, but until you go out and get someone to pay you for a need and then have five people pay you and then ten people, you really don't know if you're solving a real problem or not.Brandon Shuey - Fliphound
For me, what I feel like told me this product might really have some legs to it is that it was an emotional product — that people have an emotional reaction to it. I think, at least for a retail product, it's kind of important right now.John Harrison - Filimin
It's the customers who are going to pay your bills. Customer always comes first. You can't tell him no.Frank Hopkins - FNL Denim