Start Up Blog

Your friends & family don’t care

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on December 15, 2009

Seriously, your friends and family don’t care about your startup. They don’t have to. Sure they might pretend to care, but mostly they’ll wish you luck and get on with their lives.

Of all of my family members, only one has ever listed an item for rent on my website rentoid.com At first this surprised me.  I thought that having a very broad target audience, they’d like it and get involved. They didn’t. So why we feel the need to seed our new startup with family and friends is beyond me. It’s really a waste of time. If they don’t like what we do, we’ll be offended. If they don’t buy what we sell, we’ll be offended. The feedback is less like to be honest than from a stranger. And most of all we are not going to get rich selling to our family and friends.

Startup blog advice is this: Go direct to your real market. Family and friends rarely, if ever, hold they key to startup success. So why delay the start of said success by launching to them?

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6 Responses

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  1. Ned Dwyer said, on December 15, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Just as importantly: if your only customers are your family and friends you don’t have a sustainable business.

  2. Judith said, on December 17, 2009 at 5:56 am

    I am developing a software, and I am not even expecting my parents to test it or even have a look at it, but it sure bothers me that just because “software” is something very abstract in their world, they don’t really listen to a world I am saying. I explained them a hundred times that I first have to develop the software, then I can sell it. But right after like 4 weeks of working my butt off (and of course not making money), they started bothering me about getting a job again. They still do. Just today I again had to explain to my mother that _I am actually working_. But I am pretty sure that topic will pop up at least once again in 2009.
    But the good thing is though: Best motivation to get the thing going ever! ;)

    • Steve Sammartino said, on December 17, 2009 at 10:49 am

      Don’t worry Judith, after 3 years my mum still asks when I’m going to get a real job…. My answer is always the same – I’ve got one.

  3. Cherhan said, on December 17, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Can’t agree with you more, Steve. I have seen many people trying to begin something from their family members and that’s definitely a big no-no to me. Family is always there to give you some support, but definitely not in this case. You’ll hear more negative side of things rather than positive from them.

    Of course people who is doing direct marketing and insurance might start off from their family members, but the sustainability is definitely not there. Might as well, just as you said, go straight to the market and start targeting real potential clients.

    Good luck with your rental website, good stuff and I enjoy reading your blog.

    Regards,
    Andy.

  4. Andre Sammartino said, on December 18, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Equally, it’s worth remembering the adulation and engagement of your family and friends is no measure of your success. They/we are NOT your audience and not representative of the super interested, ambivalent and overtly obstructionist general public you need to engage with. If they buy/use out of sympathy it gives you a flase impression of success.

    The best family etc can/should do is give you the same cold repsonse 90-99% of potential customers will…

    Support comes in other forms than custom…and is also reciprocal. Are you any more interested in what they all do than you were before you started your own business? Do you deliberately and disproportionately buy their works’ products?

    Merry Xmas Steve… and keep up the good work… I’ll be listing my unwating gifts on rentoid in the New Year. I promise

  5. [...] Your friends & family don’t care [...]


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