This article is a summary of a YouTube video "Michael Seibel - How to get your first ten customers?" by Y Combinator
TLDR The video discusses the importance of personal connections and qualifying customers for a text summarization service that extracts key ideas and important events, and also mentions Facebook's new feature "Neighborhoods".
"You're solving a problem that either you have or someone that you know has."
YC's advice is to find 10 people who love your product and to do that in a way that doesn't scale, highlighting the significance of focusing on a small group of passionate customers rather than pursuing mass marketing strategies.
Target customers who intensely have the problem you're looking to solve, are willing to work with an early stage startup, and are willing to pay to solve the problem.
Charging customers is a way to determine if they truly have a problem and are willing to pay to solve it.
"That's kind of telegraphing to you" - Customers' reactions and statements can provide valuable insights into their needs and motivations.
Founders don't have to close the first 10 customers who walk in their door, they need to qualify customers.
Understanding the problem intensity and customer's willingness to act swiftly are crucial factors in acquiring the first ten customers.
"Charge the customers and use that as a signal for the intensity of how much of a problem they have."