DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast E33 – Knowing the Product, the Problem, and the Portability with Mark Milanese

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On this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony speak with Mark Milanese, founder at OneLenz, a tech platform that connects startups to VCs and investors.

Over the course of the episode, the guys speak with Mark about how companies should approach investors, what things young startups should consider, and how to avoid common pitfalls when seeking funding.

The main takeaways here are that it’s very hard to build a successful product on a weak platform. Spend the time (and money) hammering out all the details first and you’ll be much more likely to find success when it comes time to seek investment rounds.

If you know the value that your product brings to the market and to your customers, it’ll be much easier to grow. Learn the tech, know the problem that your product solves for your base, and figure out how to fail. Investors will be impressed with your tenacity.

Topics Covered:

  • Startups need to chase clients, not funding.
  • Where to start if a founder comes to OneLenz for investment.
  • People need guidance in getting the requirements right.
  • Your first version doesn’t need to be perfect, but it needs to be good enough to get feedback on.
  • Founders should definitely bring in a tech consultor to save money in the long run.
  • Global founders are ambitious and relentless.
  • You need to know what your value is to your customer.
  • The best thing to do is to fail fast.
  • Don’t try to be everything to everyone.
  • If someone hands you a big check, they’re going to run right through you.
  • Building a product is a full-time job.
  • People are understanding the value of meeting digitally through Zoom now.

Key Quotes:

  • “Where you start depends on your tech.” (10:50)
  • “You need to know how to link what you want to what you can deliver.” (13:30)
  • “What’s your business, what’s your business model…how big do you want to go?” (18:40)
  • “You’re still on the phone 24/7.” (20:15)
  • “You gotta learn how to fail fast…and move on.” (23:20)
  • “You’ll want to be on the VC’s radar at least six months out.” (27:15)
  • “I’d rather chase sales than chase investor’s money.” (31:00)
  • “Keep your job as long as you can.” (44:00)
  • “It’s all about the kind of business you want.” (48:00)