Your service offering can’t and should not appeal to everyone. In any given population half of the people don’t care about what you have to offer. Let’s call these people the “incompatibles.” Two thirds of the remaining half (the compatibles) need to be convinced. The remaining third are your potential fans. They may easily try out your product or service when they get to hear about it. These are your early adopters. Some will remain loyal and spread the word to their peers. They will determine if you will break out. The break out happens when these early adopters gain a critical mass and form a significant portion of the remaining compatibles.

It’s tempting to try and reach out to and convince the incompatibles to buy what you’re selling or saying. It’s more effective to focus on the compatibles instead. These people already resonate with your message. They’re willing to give you a chance. They are willing to spend money on you. For a new offering seek out the early adopters and give them your best stuff. They will eagerly spread the message for you.

The incompatibles are not bad people. They simply prefer something else and they may sometimes express their resentment in not vey friendly language. So don’t be disheartened by negative or harsh comments about your service or product. You are just preaching to the wrong people.

Nonetheless you need to create the service or product first before you look for the right customers. Alternatively first find the compatibles you wish to serve and build something specific for them. Test the idea with your early adopters before heavily investing in scaling up.

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