Customers Before A Product
With one blog post and a couple tweets on a Sunday in January, Atlanta Tech Village sold out one wing of offices shortly after David first bought our outdated building. Most people who are creating a coworking space or tech hub would renovate or build the space first and then invite members in, but not us. Our quick, early success affirmed our guess – if we build it, they will come.
They are still coming despite some pretty sweet fake ivy and 1980's black marble in our lobby. This huge amount of interest made it clear that what we were providing was not just a vitamin but a pain pill. Startups in Atlanta needed more affordable and flexible space than what they currently had access to. Our first few members had to be pretty darn scrappy– they built their own desks, they even helped us demo a few walls, and as our first Village customers, they helped us create the environment we have today.We have continued to bring on new members before our renovations, and we are building and refining our "product" around what we have found works and what our members have said they want and need. Identifying our key customers, providing a solution to their problems, and evolving as we learn and grow with them has been vital to our startup journey and is key to our success. Yes, we brought in customers before we have our finished product (106 companies to date in fact), but in the startup world, this is creating a foundation of folks that have become our ambassadors as they partner with us on our mission to put Atlanta on the tech map.