This week I would like to promote a couple of really good bits of advice which I found thanks to my former Chair in Ideon Science Park, Charlotta Falvin. You can read the full article here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/309250. I’d like to add something more to it, this advice is also not just true for the private sector but for the public sector too!
Start-ups need doers. Doers live for building things and executing. Founders who execute intelligently and quickly are more likely to succeed. In the early days, the founder(s) need to be hands-on with all parts of the business -- the technology, sales, finances, etc. It is inevitable that they will need to do things outside their comfort zone and do them at least well enough to get others to buy in. A start-up’s main advantage is speed of learning. You learn what works and doesn’t work when you take action, run tests, get feedback, and iterate. You can’t be an entrepreneur in an armchair -- you must do. Maintaining) a relentless focus on doing whatever it takes (acting, not talking).
2. Customer Focus
Don’t focus too much on funding! Focus on solving the right problem, the right way. Focus on basics; customers, their experience and retention. (Having) a deep understanding of the market (you) plan to serve, its size and realistic revenue potential, and the needs of the customers there. Apply technology to solve real customer problems better than anyone else is currently doing it. (Keep) a laser focus on the customer.
It sounds incredibly counterintuitive, but those who practice grace, generosity and peace are more likely to succeed due to their inherent capabilities and perceptions of life and business. Understanding the customer’s situation. I love founding teams where at least one person has first-hand experience in the customers’ world so they inherently understand the pains and opportunities. But even so, founders still need to validate their assumptions. Offers compassion, this along with ‘gratitude’ are both taught from notable entrepreneurs in Japan who (achieved) success during the post-war period. Successful founders and businesspeople, historically and across the Pacific, possess this compassionate mind-set, to empower those surrounding (them), including co-founders, co-workers, customers, intermediaries, and so on.
Willingness to listen and learn, persistence, and the ability to excite others about their idea. Determination and resilience in the face of disappointment. Perseverance is the X-factor. There will be troughs of sorrow, pits of despair, crashes of ineptitude, but understand that the obstacle is the way forward. Know that there are only two steps on the path: start and never stop.