Four simple but solid factors for any startup to succeed. This is based on my experience in more than 4 startups.
- Idea: “*Of course your idea has to be great.” *Nonsense. It doesn’t have to be great. Even a mediocre idea executed brilliantly can do wonders compared to a great idea delving forever into your brain. So don’t be limited or overwhelmed by your idea. Shut up and Startup!
- **Execution: **How you execute your idea can be broadly classified by below:
a. The features: Start with minimal features for your MVP but these features have to be differentiators. In today’s competitive world there’s a high chance that your idea is already being implemented by others. That's good, that means there is a market for your product. But then, your initial versions have to bring out what is unique in you.
b. The technology: There are many tech startups providing a lot of cool pricing options for startups. In the beginning, exploit Github and other open source and free tools as much as you can. Read my blog on Hybrid vs Native to help make a better decision if you are into the mobile app business.
Mail me for any guidance on technology based on my experience with:
Jarvis — Safe driving assistant
HitchKey — Ride-sharing platform
Zwibe — Social eCommerce platform
c. Partnership: This is something that many startups fail to bank upon. Joining hands can result in a win-win situation. If there’s any startup doing business in a similar domain, it is not really a bad idea to partner with them and help each other reach more customers and provide a wider range of services. The ‘Deal’ does not have to deal with the complexities of any stake. It can be as simple as just having exposure to each other’s user base.
d. Marketing: Most probably you are low on budget. Talk to your friends and family. You are the shy kind, possibly, but still, talk. Get them wowed with your idea and MVP and they will do the marketing for you.
Remember, Twitter is for spreading awareness. FB, Instagram for targeting audience. None of them will give you enough traction, but word-of-mouth will.
Find bloggers who like to blog about ideas in your domain, amaze them. Find magazine editors, journalists, etc. Don’t leave any stone unturned for people to talk about your idea for free. Create outrageous funny videos and messages. Tools like Canva and Powtoons and Goanimate can help you.
3. Product-Market fit: Great idea, great execution can waste all efforts if not done at the right place and with the right people. eg. No point in starting a social networking platform with 30+ age groups. Even while targeting college students, the students from New Delhi behave differently than Mumbai students. The point is if tomorrow you decide to discontinue your product, at least around 40% of the existing users should be *disappointed without it. Until then, you should keep your burns minimum, keep taking user feedback, and keep rewriting your product.
4. Timing: I started an online grocery shopping platform in 2009. The idea was great (as you can see now). I was decent with execution too. But back then, people were not so tech-savvy and lazy enough to order stuff online. I got all excuses like *“I would like to see the quality before buying pulses, vegetables, etc.” All those people are buying online now. Point is, you might be too early or too late, failing faster will improve your chances of succeeding faster.
Serial Entrepreneur and Coach