You can do anything, but not everything- David Allen
David Allen is one of the guy who made me have a clear idea about how things work. In order to accomplish something, you have to get out of your comfort zone and get things done. Getting things done is really a hard task . Like you can conceptualize, plan and assign responsibilities to others for getting things done, but at the end of the day, if the things are done, its done, else its just a plan.
How do you make something? How do you make a startup? If I go into the depth of your question, How do you make a great startup? What does it take to make it happen? How things happen on the first place? How customers approach you? How investors come to you? How do you negotiate and finalize your first deal? And what not. So many questions and so little answers? Not fair!
Startups are the new word for small business. Small business and startups are not very different in literal terms, but we will keep that discussion for some other day. Today, its just about the startups. If I take the liberty to make it up to you in simple terms, startups are nothing but a problem solving business. A business that has plans to go big one day, since day one!
A startup happens when you have the vision to solve a problem. A great startup happens when you take the problem solving to next level. The world is now relying heavily on the gig economy. Let me tell you , the future is going to be all about Gig Economy. When the concept of gig economy was started it was not a very big thing really, but the people who saw the future of gig economy knew that things will change drastically. Airbnb doesnt own a single hotel room, Uber has no cars, computing is all about cloud now and what not. Who saw this 20 years back? The same people who made great startups.
Anything great means, going beyond the obvious. You cant rely on the obvious. Obvious is ordinary, obvious is mundane.Obvious can not yield magical results. See beyond what others are able to see. Think what the society is heading towards. Make assumptions, make a hell lot of assumptions. Cross out the ones that seems to be failing. Observe and improvize. Learn from mistakes of others and Solve a problem.
Solving a problem in the core of any successful startup. You dont make something big unless people want your product. You dont sell comb to bald people. May be you can cheat them once. But thats now how great things are made to survive. Cheating will give your first customer , an excellent product will give you a billion dollar company.
Making great stuff doesn’t take time , it takes concentrated efforts and dedication. Time is irrelevant if you are working on something bigger than you and your life. Great things take time, but great things are always rewarding.
Step by step guide to make a great startup :
- Identify the problem you will be solving: In order to have a startup, you need to solve a problem. Dont even think about making a startup for solving a non-existent problem. Identify a real problem. Make sure, that people want to solve the problem you have identified. Let us not solve a problem that is only faced by a small number of people or the problem that is confined to a small locality.
- Create a prototype: Creating a prototype will solve your 90% issues you face when making something big. When you are working on the prototype, the aim should be to make the Minimum Viable Product. The product that you can finally launch in the market and the product that people will give you money in exchange for. To have a great startup, you have to have a great MVP.
- Find a co-founder : Dont get stressed over this part too much. Just concentrate on pitching your idea to a fellow founder who is crazy on your scale. Please remember, that language, city, gender and all doesnt matter much, but co-founder should have the same craziness as you for your product. Even a girl can be co-founder, but dont force anyone to join you for the sake of having a co- founder. You wont make it big. Match the level of craziness and dedication.
- Make a team : If you have a co founder, its good, if you dont have a co founder, dont give up. Start making a team. If you have money , all good, if you dont have money try to make the team with whatever you have. A team is the most important aspect of a great startup. Give me a 100 thousand and a great team , I will make an empire. Give me a a lazy team of demotivated staff,I will drown a Billion dollar in the drain. Team is the most important asset your business can have. NEVER , NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A GREAT TEAM!
- Pitch the idea to investors : The tv shows like shark tank has given a pretty good idea about how investors be investing in your product. Before approaching your investors, make the MVP and a team. Profit or loss comes later. If the idea is strong enough, people will invest money. They will do it because if your product earns profit, they will get the proportional profit. They are not doing you a charity. Deal with the fact.
All the phases I have mentioned above have some minor aspects to be micromanaged. You can do it for sure and the expertise will come with experience. Happy Founding !