ACE Methodology – Personal Assessment 1
The concept behind the ACE Methodology for Startups applies itself well to most endeavors intended to create success. The Startup Assembly Manual uses it to lay out a road map for entrepreneurs and people with an idea but no clue what to do with it.
ACE is Assessment, Confirmation, and Execution. The Assessment stage leads you through the process of assessing yourself, your customer, your product, and your business idea. From that comes a set of assumptions which are refined, defined, then tested in the Confirmation stage – first with research and customer investigation then with sales. When you have a proven set of assumptions, you build a business plan and Execute it.
In this article, we’ll discuss one of the most important assessments you will make, personal assessment. In future articles, we’ll discuss more personal qualities that make up a foundation of success. But, let’s start with this:
After forty years of being an entrepreneur and knowing a lot of them, certain personal characteristics seem to determine success or failure. Someone asked me what is the most important trait of a successful entrepreneur. I answered: objectivity. This is the ability to see things the way they actually are, not how you think they should be. So many founders so desperately want things to work out that they interpret feedback as either positive when it really isn’t, or coming from people who really don’t know what they are talking about.
I’ve mentored founders who are so passionate about their product and the solution it offers, that they discount all the people who say: “I don’t really have that problem”. And, they blow up feedback that says “That’s nice”. Here’s one important thing to be objective about: you aren’t your customer; only your customer is your customer. If nobody but you think there’s a problem that needs a solution and that your product offers a compelling solution, your business idea won’t succeed. No motivated customers, no product, no business. Sorry.
This isn’t the only great idea you’ll have. If it won’t work – if you can’t develop a customer – move on to the next idea.