A continuación os cuento lo que me han contado:
-We did not pick your project this time.
There could be many reasons so I listed below the most common ones:
(1) Something is missing
Of course our assessment is very subjective but we look at:
TEAM (do you have all the skills you need - lone founders in particular are at a big disadvantage),
MARKET (is the potential market big enough in our eyes, do you have any indication that a significant demand exists at the right price beyond some fluffy analyst projection of a $10B market?),
PROTOTYPE (you generally need at least a work-like prototype to be considered) and
HARD THING (what tech / barrier of entry / defensibility). We live in China and know a thing or two about copycats and "Xiaomization". Things get commoditized real fast.
(2) It's too late
Some projects were targeting markets we feel are already crowded.
For example, it is really difficult to do something 10 times better or really different in smart watches, activity trackers, drones or FDM-type 3D printers unless you have significant new tech, like proprietary sensors, algorithms or AI.
(3) It's too early
Of course startups have to be early, but if you're TOO early you have years of struggle ahead, unless you figure out a difficult pivot. Sometimes we still pick such project, sometimes we don't.
(4) Too much the same
If we just invested in an identical startup, or if an older one is succeeding with a similar solution,
chances are we won't invest in yours right away.
(5) You're late stage
That happens. That's why we now have the HAX Boost program opening in San Francisco.
It is focused on sales, marketing and distribution.
Check it out at http://www.hax.co/
Projects evolve, prototypes get better, teams can bring in new members or even get early customers. We don't discriminate against repeaters, quite the contrary!
If you do apply again, feel free to mention it and highlight your progress!
What we recommend:
- customer discovery: talk to many potential users about the problem you identified, learn about their existing solutions and what's wrong with them
- solution discovery: do you have the right solution? At the right price? Are people ready to pay you for it? How much? How much value or savings do you bring them (money, time, etc.)?
- clarify the value proposition: what's your 10x / key differentiator? Generally only ONE clear feature is better than a flurry.
- build. If you don't have a working prototype, well, proof is in the prototype.
We also have a few videos of talks we gave in conferences and columns we wrote on techcrunch
Techcrunch Columns on Lean Hardware: