It’s NOT All About the UX. Except It’s ALL About the UX.
Recently one of my partners received an email from an entrepreneur saying he chose to reach out to him because, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘Roi puts too much emphasis on assessing companies based on the UX’.
So first off, that’s factually incorrect. Second off, that’s absolutely right. Allow me to explain:
At Initial Capital, the first paramater we look at in order to assess any venture that comes our way is whether it has a ‘concrete business model’.
We ask ourselves a few questions to figure this out: Is there a way to charge for the product or service? Can this be done simply? Can a compelling business be built on top of said model?
Good example: Offer a service » Charge a monthly subscription service.
Bad example: Anything that is more complicated than that.
But as I personally assess decks (which I prefer) and executive summaries (which I loathe and ask not be sent to me), I begin analyzing the user experience.
See, it’s all about user experience. From communication, to logos, to sites, to GUI, to t-shirts, to everything in between. If you think that UX refers to graphical design alone, you’re way, way off.
Any entrepreneur that doesn’t understand this can take this post as a rude wake-up call, because honestly speaking, they’re in deep dudu if not.
Code cannot come before UX. Design the experience before you code it. Art takes time and has to be at the core of your product/service. If you don’t have a designer as one of your first three team members, well, in my humble opinion, you’re already in trouble.
To illustrate… Here are some details I assess when **every** new venture comes my way: Email structure, word choice, the signature, the amount of deck slides, the weight of the presentation, whether the dollar sign is placed before or after the amount, the choice of stock photography, whether MS Clipart was used, the thickness of the business card, the choice of typography, even the entrepreneur’s choice of laptop and phone.
All of these go to the heart of our assessment the product/service, the team and the venture as a whole.
You must be thinking to yourself ‘this is true only for consumer plays, right?’ Wrong. Hella-wrong. We at Initial look at b2b plays more often than consumer ones and these don’t get any discounts when it comes to our UX assessment. If this doesn’t make sense to you, read the Facebook Imperative.
If you’re aiming lower than this, or think UX isn’t intrinsic to your venture as code is, it’s game-over before it was even game-on.