Brad Feld

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Should You Force Your Investors To Use Your Product?

Jun 19, 2007

I had the following exchange with the CEO of one of my investments the other day.

Q (Brad): It’s strange to me that only a few of the investors / board members are using Product X.  Any insights?
A (CEO): I’m in two minds.  One is that my investors should use Product X to be more informed.  On the other hand, I’m usually very careful to get investors to use a product I’m building just because I asked them to.  There are only a few investors who are potential target users in the early days.  I have done it in the past, and I often get feedback that I have to deal with because I made them play with the product.  My goal is to get the product to a point where they end up using it because it’s that good, and that we’re targeting their target demographic.  

I thought this was a great answer.  I’ve written about this before at Product Focused Venture Capital and Do Your Investors Use Your Product?  I’ve always been attracted to companies that make things I can use and immerse myself in.  However, I realize that this isn’t necessarily representative of the VC community and I loved the CEO’s notion that his goal was to build a product that became so compelling that his investors naturally would use it.