Steve Blank‘s Customer Development methodology emphasizes that startups need to seek “earlyvangelists,” potential customers who’s “hair is on fire.” Great image! Makes sense when you hear it! Then you try to find such customers and… their hair is not literally on fire so you struggle to apply the concept!
Here is a definition that my students find helpful (adapted from Steve Blank’s work):
A Customer’s “Hair is on fire” when they are in so much pain that they are already spending time and/or money on some hodgepodge solution that you are superior to?