10 valuable Insights from Y-Combinator [Accelerator] for Starting a Business.
“You may think you have a great Idea, but it will never get to the End-User without sound planning & skilled execution”.
Topics: Why/Mission, Excite, create Buzz, be Market Leader? Start Small, 1st Users, Problems, use Metrics, Evolve Team.
Y Combinator is a firm that advises startups and invests in the ones holding promise. Last month, the YC community hosted a two-day Starting a Business Demo featuring 103 different Startups from a wide variety of industries. Some of the Startups included Symple, which is essentially Venmo for B2B payments; Speak, & an AI English tutor. Everyone wants to have that million-dollar idea to catapult them to the good life. Anyone remember the Pet Rock? [If you do you’re . . .] The truth of the matter is that ideas are a dime a dozen. Turning them into profitable startups is a whole different ball game. Here are 10 useful bits of advice to help jump from the Idea stage, to Product & Marketing stages and create something truly great.
1. Know what you’re Building & Why.
This is perhaps the most important part of the process. While you’re in the development stage, you need to create a thorough roadmap & time table of your intentions supplemented with a strong rationale. The high death toll of startups can be attributed to entrepreneurs who thought they could skip this vital step. Your understanding of this concept is essentially your Executive Summary. Regardless of how your startup adjusts to the times, it should remain consistent. Don’t take this step lightly. 5 Star Startup Services of Wiz4.biz has done >30 and can help you achieve your dream
2. If it doesn’t excite 1st Time listeners, change it!
A “great” business idea draws people in immediately. It’s like “love at first sight”. Now, a lot of startups don’t fall flat, because their idea is bad, but because they presented it wrong. This is where creativity is crucial. Coming up with ideas is easy. Delivering an Elevator or more detailed perfect Pitch to strangers is incredibly tricky. If your first attempt receives a lot of raised eye brows or head-shakes, don’t scrap the idea. If you’ve come this far, there’s got to be some merit to it. Remember, Steve Jobs & Bill Gates were rejected countless times in their early years. Tweak and practice your pitch until you get it right. There will always be new potential users to try it out on.
3. Make something people enjoy Talking about & create Buzz.
The goal of any startup is to create something people love. Look at some of the most successful ones of the modern era. How were you introduced to Google? Chances are, someone you know told you about how awesome and simple it was. At a foundational level, your idea should be something that people are excited to rave about to their friends. Once you have achieved this, it will spread like wildfire.
4. Create ideas that can make you the Market Leader.
One of the main questions YC will ask a startup is how will the company be the Market Leader one day. While proceeding with baby steps is wise for a startup, you should have a clear vision of the potential your idea has. How will you keep people coming back? How will you appeal to new audiences? Will this idea be sustainable in 3-5 years? To be successful, the planning stage should include an in-depth analysis of how your idea will scale for the long haul. An Executive Summary does that.
5. Start Small – so you can handle the Growth.
In the beginning – when starting a business – it can be tempting to try and get your new product or service in front of as many eyes as possible. However, it is more beneficial to create something a small number of people will fall in love with first. Even though there may be the same amount of +/- feelings towards your idea, keeping it small initially, will make it easier to test the waters and avoid colossal failure.
6. Recruit first Users individually – so you can get close to them & pick their brains.
Before Pinterest became a worldwide sensation, founder Ben Silbermann would approach random people in coffee shops and ask them to try the App. Once he got a few people to bite, he would ask their opinion and what they would add. While most founders would prefer to announce their great idea to the Media, the chances of success can be a lot smaller. That’s why it’s smart to hand-pick Users in the early stages. This will give you a chance to find out exactly who your ideal customers are and what they are looking for.
7. Be alert to possible Problems – to solve them quickly.
Great businesses do not randomly sell products or services. They create “solutions to problems”. In most cases, coming up with a great idea does not happen by just sitting down and brain-storming. Some of the best ideas come from pinpointing inefficiencies in common situations. Airbnb, for example, identified that staying in hotels when traveling can get expensive and limit the overall experience. So, they created a platform where travelers could find a Host of their choosing and lease out a room in their home for the duration of the trip. It was a smart way to break the mold of traditional accommodation and make each experience unique. Keep in mind that consumerism is very much a system of change. Inserting yourself into the history books of entrepreneurship depends on your ability to find innovative ways to make life better.
8. Identify at least 1 single growth Metric to track.
Outstanding execution revolves around a well-defined growth metric. For this reason, it is smart for startups to corner the most optimal measurement to keep track of. It’s well worth your time to find that One Metric that Matters (OMTM). This will help determine the most pressing question you have and force you to set clear-cut goals.
9. Help your Idea evolve – with the times.
Change is perhaps only thing that is constant in the world of business. Going all the way back to the invention of the wheel, great ideas are meant to evolve. Failure to adapt to a changing market-place can spell death for any company. Take the Taxi business for example. Their negligence in adapting to the new business model Uber & Lyft created has practically driven endless amounts of former Taxi companies into obscurity. Critically examine your feedback from users. The more you get, the better off you’ll be. Keep up with what’s happening in tech. Adapt to the trends. The world is evolving; your business should be too or you’ll fall behind and maybe die.
10. Build a great Team & they’ll help you build a great Business
In almost all cases, multiple brains are better than one. Also, there might be crucial character traits you simply don’t have. For example, let’s say you have superb Ideation creation and analytical abilities. But, you are a severe introvert. In this case, it would be wise to partner with someone with a bubbly personality to promote your ideas as the Marketer. If your startup gets Traction, you will need to hire more talent in different areas to help it grow. Therefore, taking the time to find the right team is mandatory. Take a critical look at yourself. What are your strengths & weaknesses? How can you find people to cover your weaknesses? Putting together a well-balanced team will likely be the most important task you will face. Be picky & do due do Diligence !!!
Parting Thoughts on Starting a Business.
All the statistics out there on startups can be intimidating (about 90% fail in their first year) and often discouraging. It’s no secret that monetizing your idea will be tough. For every successful idea, there are thousands 10x that don’t make it. Remember, the difference comes down to superior planning and execution. Use these tips to significantly increase your chances of success !!!
Comments: Do you have any Insight from Starting a Business, you’d like to share?
from Entrepreneur.com 22 May 17 enhanced by Peter/CXO, Wiz4biz
For more Info, click on Starting a Business.