When a product is created, the challenge is to find a niche and market that product.  Navigating that process is really tough, and it typically does not follow a straight line.  The single most difficult thing young companies seem to have a challenge with is finding their identity.

Companies are always trying to perfect the art of reaching the right market with the right message. What is that message? What is the value to a user?

Here are a few things to think about when finding the identity for a startup:

  • Keep it simple – Start things out simply and then expand from there. Find the one most important problem your product solves and build on it. Find the thing that will get peoples attention. Find the one thing people will talk about.
  • Learn from your users – Listen to them in order to learn what the one thing is. Facebook didn’t know photos would be so important to their product until users told them long after they launched. Learn what is similar to ‘photos on Facebook’ for your product.
  • Keep going – Companies rarely get it right the first time, but some are determined enough to ge there. Persistence is the single most important component to finding your niche.

What else? What are the other things companies should think about when trying to find their identity?