Startups and Downs

Startups' mistake number one is testing the idea with their peers. Sir John Hegarty taught me in his class: if you ask the same question from the same people the same way, you will get the same answers.

Get out of your comfort zone and reach out to opinion leaders from different fields, and aim to receive only one thing: reassurance. But careful, reassurance comes from within you.

Here is the good news. If 9 out of 10 people would disagree with your idea, you should have a hint that you are on the right track. How would people know what innovations are they missing in their lives? Innovation is illogical, so my advice is to keep reassuring yourself first, and understand that translating your innovative idea into a logical and linear flow is a pure waste of time.

Creativity is speed; creative people see things faster than others. If you cannot believe your speed is right, then set the speed limit higher. The bottom line is innovation does not come from you but through you. The idea in your head is a collective reflection of things you picked up faster than others. So the only barrier to success is your very own self since your timing from the audience's timing differs and since your vision and its vision are completely different. What's next then? Reassurance, as I said, and from where does reassurance come? Yes. From you!

Start-ups have an advantage of not having a history, of not having to worry about inherited, outdated forms of thinking. However, I have seen so many of them borrowing values from the past. Don't do it. Do not use limiting assumptions based on the past, only because you are scared of the output. You resonated with the input in the first place; that is why you have built a start-up around your idea. So focus on the outcome, and align your outputs for a simple reason: without an outcome, there is no need for an output. Never underestimate the power within you. What you see may not be what others can see, but that should not stop you from working on your start-up idea.

Yes, I can hear the whispers already. If others cannot see what you are building, how can it get financed? This is when it gets tricky. You need to step back and figure out what category you have tackled with your idea. Communicate the category and not the actual product or service you have built. Educate the audience about the category itself. People's brain is used to narratives. But people are afraid of the unknown. So category involvement at an early stage is crucial to create a narrative from the known practices, leading them towards the unknown, right to the sweet spot of your startup. In this way, you are building confidence in them to resonate with your proposition since they were walked through it seeing the big picture. So even if they see it differently, they will feel it the same way. And the feeling is what you were aiming for, without realizing it in the first place. With managing to pass around your passion, you will make others resonate with your startup. What fascinates me is to have the strength to build your own startup company. The more you read and talk about it, the more strength you gain. Simple!

However, simple does not equal easy, as many opinion leaders in this business articulated it so well.

Just think about it!