Success in the business world usually means "being at the top". Getting there, however, is the hardest thing there is. We all know that. The problem is that no one is really sharing their secret sauce about how they built an overnight successful startup.
It is quite surprising how many new startups are emerging today and going viral. But every time you ask “how did you do it?”, all you get is the usual: It takes motivation, drive, and hard work. Everybody tells you that it’s not as easy as it seems. Everybody tells you that it doesn’t work for everyone. They’re right. That’s why we wanted to tell you how you can actually make it work for YOU!
We tried to break down the process down to help you get a clearer image of what is actually happening. To make it even more simple, we chose the best Y combinator talks delivered by experts for you to learn from.
One of the biggest mistakes that start-uppers and even companies make is: building a product then trying to sell it. It’s not about the product, it’s more about what your customers want. First, you need to define the problem your target is suffering from. Then, try to find the best way to solve it. Once you find it, you shape your product accordingly. With good designs and the right packaging, your customers will start buying from you in the blink of an eye.
Next, you’ll need to build your company. The company is everything that your product needs in order to get out there. Meaning, it’s the legal procedures, it’s the finances, it’s the strategies, but mostly it’s the team. All the technical details and the paperwork can be tricky and overwhelming sometimes. A successful entrepreneur, however, is someone who can set his priorities straight and act accordingly. When in a startup setting, you can’t afford to be all over the place. You need to set milestones, deadlines, and metrics. You need to manage all the data that’s coming your way while having solid backup plans just in case something goes wrong. And let me tell you this, something WILL go wrong. It’s a simple startup rule. What matters is how you deal with it.
Now raising capital is one of the things that most entrepreneurs excessively worry about. What they don’t know, however, is that it is one of the easiest things to do. Of course given that you did everything right up until this point. By right I mean that everything you did is building up to the moment you start reaching out to potential investors. Investors will put their money not in the project in itself but rather in you. You can have an amazing product but you’re having communication problems within your team, you’re not organized, or your thoughts are one big blurry mess. Chances are, you won’t be getting a yes anytime soon.Actions speak louder than words. Providing proof of all the people that validated the problem you’re fixing is much better than saying “everybody is suffering from this and that”. Always backup your claims with actual data. Investors love tangible data. Just ask yourself: “If I were in their shoes, would I invest in me?” And there you go, you got your answer.
Setting up a startup is just the first step. You’re in for the long haul. You don’t stop after one or two customers are satisfied and definitely not when you finally start generating some revenue. Sure you have the right to be happy about your progress, but you started something because you believed in it, not to just earn extra money -unless you did, then that’s a whole other story. Many people give up after their first milestone is reached, thinking that they succeeded and there is no need to worry anymore. Sadly, the entrepreneurial field is as dynamically shifting as an ocean in the middle of a storm.Scary as it sounds, there is always something new seeing the light and trying to fight its way to the top. Competition is much stronger than ever and the market is constantly changing and growing. That’s why you always need to be on your tiptoes, ready to fight back. Innovation is taking the world by a storm, and so should you!
Your team is your most valuable asset. Whether you like it or not, you can’t do everything on your own. You need a team. And that’s where the tricky part starts.A team is not a group of people whom you give orders to and they oblige. Not entirely. First of all, a team is a group of people that you asked to join you on your journey because you saw something in them. You saw a spark, saw a potential leader in them. You felt like you could rely on them in the future and that they would have your back. They are people who will not fail you, not out of fear of getting fired but rather because they firmly believe in what you are building TOGETHER. It is very important for your team to feel like they belong.. like they are a solid part of the startup. They need to feel like the startup is them and they the startup. THAT is how you choose your team. After all, they are your family. You can’t choose your blood family, but you sure can choose your work-family. Member by member. Just make it worthwhile.
Please don’t be a boss. Be a leader! Be someone who feeds on motivation, drive, and hard work. Someone who inspires his team to become the best version of themselves. Someone who is reliant, compassionate, and simply fun. You don’t have to always joke around or constantly have a strict poker face. Be a little bit of both, depending on the situation! After all, just like you wouldn’t like to have an annoying boss, your team wouldn’t want that either.