It takes two to tango, and it takes three to make a dance party. When those initial people have passion and enthusiasm for dancing when no one else is, they encourage others to join in. That’s the same idea behind earlyvangelists. They are the first few people who use your product when no one else is and are willing to tell others about their experience. Here is more information about earlyvangelists and how you can use them when working on the launch of your product.
What are earlyvangelists? If you’re unfamiliar with the term earlyvangelist, you may find this short video from Bob Gower helpful. Bob describes earlyvangelists as “Passionate, early users of new technology or products who understand its value before mainstream markets. Acquiring early adopters is important to jumpstart product adoption.”
The most important customer you will ever know. In The Four Steps To the Epiphany, Steve Blank defines earlyvangelists as: “a special breed of customers willing to take a risk on your startup’s products or service because they can actually envision its potential to solve a critical and immediate problem.” Joe Kinsella provides an example of an earlyvangelist he had at one of his startups and explains how to find your earlyvangelist.
How to validate your customer problem and find your earlyvangelists. When you’re working on a new product you want to be able to validate your customers’ problems. You want to understand the jobs your customer is trying to get done and the, pains they would like to alleviate. And, you want to determine whether your customers are willing to pay to address those pains. The folks at the House explain how earlyvangelists can help you validate your customers problems and determine whether you have a viable solution.
In praise of the earlyvangelist. “Chris Gillebeau wrote a book: The $100 Start Up. In it, he talks about building a ‘small army.’ No, this isn’t about war. It’s about making something happen that lasts, that produces real results fast and gains both momentum and traction.” Perry Gruber calls the people that make up that small army Earlyvangelists. “They are people who are so excited about what you are doing, they not only get involved, they tell many other people, often people like themselves, who end up doing the same thing.”
Earlyvangelist or early adopter? The terms earlyvangelist and early adopter are often used synonymously, but are they really the same thing? Eduardo Cisternas takes a look at how two different authors describe customer development and the role that your initial customers play. Along the way he explains that earlyvangelists may be a special type of early adopter.