It has been a while since I last updated on this ‘series’. So it’s time for some brain-dump (my excuse of not spending time in organising my thoughts)!
- I see many startups look at the problems they want to solve from a very ‘third person’ perspective. My analogy is that they tend to look at the ‘maze’ from a ‘top view’. However, all the participants in this maze are driven by their own perspectives – that’s why they behave they way they behave. Simply calling them out as old-fashion, lazy, or not smart is not the best way to truly understand how the market works (for right or wrong reasons).
- It’s easy for startups to spend too much in their pitch explaining the problem that they want to solve. Yes, these are the fundamental reasons why they are doing what they do, so it’s natural that they love to talk about it – but most often times the problem can be easily understood in less than 10 seconds. It’s much more beneficial to talk about their deep knowledge of the industry or how deep they have tried in solving the problems. It’s all about depth – it’s all about how granular.
- Obviously one of the best things being a founder is that you are the ‘boss’. But this means 1/ no one is going to chase you to get anything done. Whilst most passionate founders naturally work really hard on their projects, there is a big tendency for them to do what they ‘want’ to do, rather than what they need to do. The 2/ thing is, no one is really the boss, you either work for money (i.e. you are the boss so you get ‘people’), or you work for people (i.e. you are the employee so you get ‘money’). It’s fair after all.
- One exercise I get startups to do is try to apply their ‘solution’ to see if it solves the more generic version of the ‘problem’ that they want to solve. If it works, that probably means the solution is not customised enough yet.
- There is a boring piece of business operations that any business owner needs to attend to and yes, that includes startups too.
- While everyone is trying to come up with a solution that can ‘disrupt’ the market, very few startups talk about how their solutions can be complimentary to the existing solutions or they can be partners with the existing players.
Alright, this is getting too long!