An Idea = A Business? Introducing the StartUp Ecosystem
Every great business was once a startup, each business was just an idea, every decision was once a thought, each technique was a theory, every monetized detail of our daily lives was once unnoticed, until a clever, daring and curious mind explored it, turned it into a business and made a sustainable life for it.
What is a StartUp? What are the essential features of creating a startup? What is the best startup business? How do Angel Investors fit in with startups? Can anyone build a startup business? What is an entrepreneur? What are the most common and beneficial characteristics of an entrepreneur? What are the 5 key factors that make businesses succeed?
In this article we are going to explore the essentials of building a sustainable startup. We are going to narrow it down to numerous subtitles and we will go on a journey to discover together, how these steps, when complete, will become the key of your success. We are going to cover the basics and if requested, we are going to dive deeper into the infamous Startup ecosystem at a later date.
What is a StartUp?
Before we explore further, we’d like you to have a basic diagram in your head to understand what we’re talking about.
A Start Up is…
Now let us explore what all the commotion is about. Shall we?
Step 1: Spot the Problem/Opportunity
Something is missing. What is it? What is a better and more efficient way to fix it? What can be done and how? Is the need a product? A mobile application? A tool? Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. Do you need it now and will you need it in 5 to 10 years? Is it a long lasting problem? How long will it take to solve it? What or who do you need to solve it? These are some of the questions you should think about. Long story short? Be curious. And be creative. Sometimes daring. All the great minds are.
React Not Only Fast But ASAP
The current market changes in the blink of an eye. That is how fast you need to be after you realise the existence of an opportunity to create your startup business. Spot the problem? Something could have been better? How? Do you have any contacts already familiar with the concept? Would they be willing to work? How fast can you map out a team around that single precious idea? Think fast. Act fast. Someone might notice that problem while you complete these steps. Don’t let it happen. Own your idea and conceptualise it.
Ready to move on to the next step?
Step 2: Find the People who share Your Vision: Build a Team for your Startup Business
You have a great idea and you have at least some clue about who might help you with it. Ready to go hunting? It’s Headhunting time! Now, consider your entire social cycles and business networks. Who has the necessary qualifications to help you? When and where can you find them? Schedule a brief meeeting and see if they, too, would be interested in your vision and would like to work with you to help you make it happen. However, there is something here we’ll mention in a couple of steps that you should keep in mind. Stay tuned!
Step 3: Place the Your Domino Tiles: Create an Operating Business Model for your Startup
Monetize. Monetize. Monetize: Build a Strong Financial Model for Your Business
In order to be succesful in the startup ecosystem, you have to understand your fiinances. There is no other way. Hiring someone to do the job you do not have the slighest clue about might be unsafe and harmful to your idea. It can kill the infant in its crib before it gets to say ‘Hello’ to the world, or it can know itself by different biological parents, when in fact you were them. And with that…
Be Real Careful about the Ones You Trust
Sharing your idea will be motivating however, it might leave you right where you started, but with nothing. Having a conversation about your vision over a coffee sounds quite warm and lively, yet that coffee might be corrosive to your idea later on. Still don’t blame them. The species of our kind are extraordinarily greedy, and at most times unfortunately, we do everything to get our hands on more. In the startup ecosystem, this is very common and therefore we’d like to dutifully warn you with our sincerity: there might be sharks ahead. And that’s why we suggest you to…
Step 4: Pitch the idea in Your Absolute Best: Getting Funding to Keep Your Startup Business Steady
Sometimes we might not have the sufficient resources to make it happen on our own, it happens. Luckily, we are not the first and we are certainly not alone, there are some ways to solve the funding part. Such as? Such as angel investors!
We all heard it at some point: Angel Investors?
Also known as Private Investor, Seed Investor or Angel Funder is a person who has high-net-worth and is able to allocate a part of resources into startups or entrepreneurs. In short, an entrepreneur is a person who creates startup(s). Angel Funders generally look for a greater rate of return than traditional type of investments, and they are interested in the share of revenue from the startup. This type of investment is one of the forms of Equity Financing (supplier gets a position for the funding in the company/startup). You should keep in mind that a typical Angel Investor expects a revenue return around 25-60%, and they do have a say in how your business operates and will operate in the future. That is why you should consider if your startup can or cannot make it without an angel investor. The terms should be set straight in the very beginning.
Let’s see the next step!
Step 5: Show Time: Launch your Startup
Assuming that everything worked pretty well until here – not even likely – you’ve made your alterations and revisations to your business model, conceptualised your idea, created a prototype, found a way to succesfully fund it, had at least a few thousand test users to give your prototype a try, also came up with a great marketing strategy and made it accessible to the consumer… Now it’s show time! Click on the button!
Hey.. What happened? Where are the people?
Why am I not getting enough clicks?
Welcome to the startup ecosystem, where there is no such thing as light speed and you’ll need a lot of patience and perseverance. Real success takes time. Keep working. Believe in yourself and your startup business. However, also be honest about it. At all times. Tracking and monitoring the progress are assets to your startup’s success.
We wish you the best of luck.
Lastly, we wanted to save the best for the last:
A StartUp Means Becoming Your Own Boss
The Best and Worst part of creating your own startup business is to operate under your own terms, which is great. You decide on what to work on and when. But we’d like to kindly remind you that some tasks critically require punctuality and a well planned schedule. The Business, the team, finances, last decisions are all your responsibility from on. Following the performances of your team members in order to run a functional business system is on you. You are not only the project manager but ‘All-manager’ at this moment. You are the Stakeholder, and the Manager. You are the one to closely spectate the conflicts or opportunities that may appear. You are the one that they report to but now more than ever, you owe your team members success and growth because when they came here, it is because they believed in you and your vision.
5 Components of Success Across 200+ Companies
After having numerous failures and successes in the startup ecosystem, for the sqke of our curiosity, Gross decided to look into it more further and narrowed the factors in the pathway of success into 5 subtitles. Below, we are going to explore these.
You might have the Best idea and the Worst Timing: It won’t Work.
Surprisingly, based on real startup business experiences the idea did not turn out to be the most important thing. Honesty about timing is critical. Think about uber. There was a always a need for fast transportation however Uber launched when the drivers were in need of extra money to provide for themselves. YouTube succeeded because Adobe found a way to stream high quality content without being have to use codecs on browsers (Flash Player). Fun fact here: YouTube did not even have a business model when it started and no one thought it would work. Now, most of us have it on Saved Pages.
Team & Execution
Hire or Find the best people to do the job and Support them in the Best Way You Can
Remember what Steve Jobs once said? ‘Hire the best people, then get the f- out of their way to let them do the job!’ It’s all about surrounding yourself with the best people who are also the best in their job. Then like domino tiles, it will all fall to place.
Have a great idea and make it just On Time
Remember we’ve discussed that you should keep your eyes open for consumer attention, it’s the idea part that stands the ground of your business. Long story short? Have a great idea and make sure your timing is right, while you keep working on it with qualified people. It’s not also about having the idea though, it’s about conceptualising it in the right way.
Know the Engines of Your Business: Create a Model of Your Operating Business
The Business Model of your startup is the algorithm of how things are going to work. What are your inputs and outputs? Using schemas at this stage might do wonders and we highly recommend you to visualise your working business model at all times. Know who does what, decision-making process, and you can also use numerous divisions to plan what your business needs and when. It’s also important to have backups in your business model, just so it can keep running when a step or a task fails, meaning, who is going to fill out when you have to take out a step in order to be able to fix it?
The Input of Your Algorithm: Where does it come from and when?
Funding is a whole another story however, we find it helpful to also mention it here as it will be critical to your startup business at all times. We’d like to explore 2 means of funding here, and we strongly encourage you to do your research about funding when you’re starting your business. Funding is your Input, and it is of inexpressible importance in the business model as well. i.e., what is the body going to digest if it does not get food?
As we’ve previously discussed, the startup ecosystem is full of sharks and jumping to the ocean and axpecting to swim just after that would be nothing but a novice mistake.
Also, you should know that once you learn how to swim, you are still not safe. Although, this should not discourage you from swimming. The startup business ecosystem encourages you to accept change as it is, learn from it, and grow with it.
Can you, too, create a business?
Maybe you’re in the starter phase of creating your business, maybe you are way ahead and maybe you’ve already achieved success. If so we’d love to hear your experiences about the startup ecosystem. Let us know using the comments section.
And keep following Project Cubicle for more good content.
All for you.
See you very soon,
This article is inspired by Harward Business Review, Building a Startup That Will Last by H. Taneja and K. Chenault.