Friday, April 14, 2017

6 Reasons Why Startups Should Skip the Big-Bang Launch

Big-bang hard launches make sense for large enterprises like Apple or Microsoft, who are building on existing revenue streams and have the resources for lavish events, Superbowl ads and large inventory buildups. But for startups with limited resources and experience, I always recommend a soft launch or toe-in-the-water approach in a local market -- and scale up later.

In fact, for startups, it usually makes sense to announce your solution on social media and blogs even before you have built the first one. Think of it as an inexpensive way to do some real market research -- which big companies can’t do, for fear of getting an antitrust violation for announcing vaporware to impede the market. Smart startups are already doing it on crowdfunding platforms.

Then it’s time to evaluate response and feedback, make the necessary plan pivots, and try it again. Iterating this process, until you see some real traction, is far less risky and expensive than the big-bang rollout. Let me summarize the advantages of this to your startup:

Sunday, April 2, 2017

4 Founding Essentials for Creating a Culture of Resilience

The jury is out. According to research, CEOs, founders, and senior executives all face similar challenges no matter what industry they’re in: building talent, scaling the business, and reacting quickly enough to change.

When you start a business the only thing you’re worried about is keeping your head above water -- paying the bills, generating revenue, and not eating another ramen noodles dinner. That’s it. However, as your company grows more and more successful and demand increases (ideally), the need to scale organizational competencies grows with it. While the need to scale is natural (a fifty person company works differently than a 500 or 5,000 person company), the behaviors that garner success are not. If you haven’t established the right norms, that’s when you look back and go, “Uh oh. We need to change how we do things around here.”

Don’t let it get to that point. Starting a company is one thing; starting it right is another. Just as a house requires a strong foundation to support its infrastructure and withstand unexpected catastrophes, startups are no different. To start off on the right track apply the below practices beginning day one of your new venture:

Friday, March 10, 2017

How to Weather the Storms of a Startup

Running a startup is not all sunny days and clear skies. In fact, first-time founders and serial entrepreneurs alike will tell you, there are weeks and months of struggles, minimal hard-won successes, daunting lessons, crushing pressure, and financial instability involved in running a company. That’s why it takes a certain kind of person to believe in themselves and weather the sturm und drang that may wash over them. For an idea of the unwieldy weather to come, read on.
A Rain on Your Parade: The passion is out of balance.