I am a mathematician and data scientist here at eTeam with four years’ experience working in the tech industry. Over those years, I have been working in different growing companies and start-ups. Sometimes we obtained amazing results, and sometimes it was a complete flop.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about these very different experiences and put together a list of tips so that you might learn from the successes and avoid the mistakes I’ve seen over the years:
1. Don't create your start-up planning to be a big fish in a small pond.
Perhaps, you intend to build a big company and be a big boss there. Actually, your clients expect a useful product from you, not just empty words or another emperor without clothes.
2. Try to find talented people to collaborate with.
Do not try to make robots out of your team, even if you’re 100% certain you’re the only one who knows a revolutionary way to build a mega-disruptor. Actually, if your people don’t share your vision, it might be a mistake to hire them before being sure they do. If you really want everyone to follow a set of instructions, and not use their creativity, it would be better to work in robotics.
3. You can dream about being the new Facebook/ Tesla/Apple, but try to create definite product, not to embrace all things.
You will probably scatter your resources, if you decide to achieve too much at the same time. Frankly, if it had been possible to embrace everything, then Facebook, Tesla, and Apple would have done it already.
4. Understand the needs of your potential clients.
You can believe your service is extremely cool and innovative, but would people use it, or not? Needs aren’t what people are talking about, needs are what people do.
5. Don’t expect your cool and talented team to be able to cope with everything.
You can always meet a challenging issue you never expected before. And that issue will require additional resources. For example, your business's physical building security is something that is highly specialized and even the most talented employee won't be able to handle issues without the help of an access control system installer. It's always a good idea to have a 'rainy day' fund to fall back on. Seven fat cows are often better than zero.
6. Building a start-up isn’t a simple way to success, rather a chance to bring to our world something that our world demands.
Certainly, when you bring useful things to our world, you will be happy and consider your life as full of purpose. However, the way to success and to effective results will require tons of effort. Don’t imagine that you will do everything perfectly and always be ready for a struggle.
7. You might expect great profit from your enterprise, and be full of faith in your sweet future, but don't finance it using your rainy day fund.
Bad weather can come unexpectedly, before your business has shown any profit. It would be extremely sad to lose your investment, the business, and expected profit at the same time. So it's important to calculate risk carefully to avoid losing everything in one bad decision.
Actually, all start-ups demand risk, a winding path of development, and the courage to change the world. However, if we are able to handle those challenges, we can take control of our own lives.