Trust and Belief
The customer development process is a slog. Each day feels like a gut check when you have zero customers. When you have built something and put it out into the world and it is met with crickets, a few things could be happening:
1. They don't know you.
2. If they don't know you, they can't trust you.
3. They don't believe that you can keep your promise.
4. The problem that you've identified is not worth solving.
5. They are waiting for someone else to go first.
Number 5 is the scab I'd like to pick at a bit. When you are selling into one of the oldest, most established industries in existence, creating change is a huge challenge. If that industry is on an all-time heater, why would anyone listen to you? You are noise.
So what to do? You (we) need to find someone to go first. We are looking for someone to buy into our vision even if V1 is not perfect. Steve Blank calls these folks "crazy people."
I think the key is removing as much friction as possible to allow someone to give us a shot to build trust. That's what we are working on.
Love to hear some of your war stories on acquiring your first customer.