We live in an age where the only question about disruption is which industry is up next.

From banking to health care to something as pedestrian as shaving your face, startups have long been on the receiving end of what feels like unlimited investments from venture capital in the hopes they become the next big driver of change.

And the winners of this sprint all have one thing in common. They didn’t just build a better product by chance. They did it by listening to the right people: those at the bottom.

It may sound counterintuitive, but while getting buy-in from C-level executives and decision makers is an important part of any disruptive company’s path to success, those meetings don’t come first. They only come when you’re confident the product you’re selling is going to provide real change and solve meaningful problems for the end user.

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