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It’s tempting to take the quick wins early on. But there’s nothing sweeter than winning that first true, unaffiliated deal. It took us 15 months. Yes, 15 months. The rigor and measurement they put us through made us go back to the drawing board again and again, but because of that, our technology works better, and each deal after that was easier to win.

Excellent article by the CEO of LatticeEngines about the importance of finding early customers outside of the Valley, helping to validate your product using more “real world” users (i.e. not early adopters).

http://venturebeat.com/2014/09/28/why-its-critical-to-find-early-customers-outside-of-silicon-valley/