I was talking to someone today and the tried to explain that, as a startup your early customers are like anchors.
Anchors can serve two purposes. First they can keep you steady, providing a base from which you can steady yourself to do great things. An anchor can keep you from drifting by helping you focus on just a few things instead of floating all over. Without an anchor the exec has to constantly keep their “hand on the tiller”, course correcting the ship.
But anchors aren’t always a good thing. By definition an anchor limits your movements which for a startup can be the difference between fast growth and slow death. Anchor in the wrong place, to the wrong customer, and you’ll never get to the better fishing spot. Anchors may make you feel too safe and keep you from venturing out on the open water where there might be a more opportunity over the horizon.
When you find those first customers for your startup, what kind of anchor are they going to be?