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Today there are no problems for business organizations - you just need to take and organize your own startup on the basis of a unique idea, developing it to the size of an enterprise. Investors also seem to be looking for fresh projects, ready to invest in their implementation.
However, in practice, it turns out to be not so simple. Entrepreneurs and investors debunk them, protecting us from simple and common mistakes.
The investor knows no less than the start-up what to do. For a novice businessman, an investor often appears not just as a money bag, but also as a business guru. This “wise fox” cannot but know everything that is happening around and what needs to be done. On the other hand, it is obvious that he has his own interests in seizing the entire project into his own hands. And he will try to do this with the least investment. You really shouldn't overestimate investors. Initially, they are on an equal footing with startup founders. The parties have little idea about the true possibilities of each other, and the financial risks are the same. All that remains is to believe that the project will end well. The average investor is as wrong as the average entrepreneur.
For the sake of perspective, you can give up big money. There are beautiful stories about how a rich investor with almost a billion came to the creator of a promising, but still young and unprofitable project. And the proud entrepreneur gave up the big money that would have buried his idea. This is actually part of the Silicon Valley marketing myth. Thousands of transactions are carried out here every year. There are several dozen of the loudest, and all of them are covered by the media. And only one lucky person a year is offered the coveted option. I must say that the chances of being that proud man are even less than becoming a victim of a plane crash. One could even say more - that very billion, which everyone is trumpeting about, did not actually exist. The businessmen themselves are the source of these stories. For some reason, investors cannot share the story of how someone gave up their billion. Knowing those who carry out these transactions, we can say that they know the value of money. And if the same billion is offered, then exactly what was planned will be received for it.
Keep your presentation short and concise. For those who want to attract investors, there are even special instructions that help to make a presentation correctly, apply for funds, teach people to look useful people in the eye. But over time, people realize that this actually makes little sense. Take a long and boring presentation. Any textbook for a businessman will call it a failure, it is necessary to speak laconically and exclusively to the point. However, the length of the presentation and the dullness must be judged in the context of the project. A businessman should not make a show and amuse the audience. It may well be that his startup is promising, which will not immediately become apparent to the tired, tongue-tied and depressed storyteller. In any case, you can usually learn more from a long presentation than from a short one. Has information ceased to be valuable in itself?
It is better to have one leader than several. Believing in a leader is a dangerous delusion. Gone are the days when one bright personality could promote a startup. More and more often projects have a leadership core. At first, the model of two co-founders was popular, then of three, and today the version with four members is widespread. This is due to the oversaturation of the market, as a result, for normal development in conditions of increased competition, even a high-quality project needs different points of view and different competencies. It's just that you won't be able to hire professionals; for a startup, spending on them will be unaffordable. So you have to cope with the efforts of the founders themselves. Quite recently, only a development manager and a visionary marketer were enough to develop a project. Now, in view of the need to optimize costs, a financier will also be required. The optimum is a co-founder who could find talents and work with them. For most startups, the main problem is the lack of people who could do something better than average in the market.
The role model is Mark Zuckerberg. Some good business schools teach you to make decisions based on the success stories of stars like Zuckerberg or Bezos, Dorsey. For general erudition, this is not bad, but does it have anything to do with real life? In fact, in the stories of legendary startups, we have to deal with rumors, guesses and interpretations that have resulted from investigative journalism and conversations with informed sources. This is a closed world, about which even less is known than about politics. So you never know what decisions were made in reality, and what became their result. And even if the same Zuckerberg writes his memoirs, it will be impossible to trust them. After all, most of the success is based on the myth he created. To destroy it and expose yourself is a form of suicide. It’s much more rewarding to study how average startups that haven’t gotten a goofy marketing cover yet work in practice. And although at first glance, all this is not as cinematic as in the case of the guru, but in the end you can find more benefits. Learning based on the history of the emergence of Facebook is akin to entertainment, but it has nothing to do with real business.
You need to look for niches with a minimum number of competitors. Experts consider it very important to enter precisely those markets where there are many competitors. If they do not exist, then the startup will have little chance. And in conditions of tightness, it will be easier to achieve success, paradoxically. Even if you do not succeed in gaining fame and fortune, your "piece of the pie" will not go anywhere. Hence, another rule is born: do not push the market, looking for projects similar to yours. From experience we can say that at least three similar ideas will always be found. If you come up with something, it will certainly turn out that someone has already suggested it. So you just have to put up with it and stop looking around, just carrying out your plan. If everything works out, then sooner or later it will be possible to simply outbid the competitor. But if the startup does not take off, then it is likely that it will be bought out. In any case, it will be difficult to remain at a loss.
We have to look for new ideas. The idea that the main thing in a startup is the idea is wrong. Generating ideas is actually pretty easy. In addition, in our time there are many opportunities for analysis and comparison, access to databases and expertise. Even a couple of decades ago, generating ideas was much more difficult. So this simple process is not appreciated by the market, today startups are firing not ideas, but their interpretations and rethinks. More ideas have already been created than are required. The winners are those who know how to process them and create a business model based on the new technology. In other words, today's demand is not for thinkers, but for technologists.
New social networks are no longer in demand. The explosion of social networks took place. Now it seems that working in this field is a thankless task. But you shouldn't pay attention to this information background of satiety. Not too long ago, everyone was excited about a future in which global social graphs will be critical. Today, for some reason, it is customary to put an end to social networks. Some young entrepreneurs are even ashamed of their initially good people-to-people projects. A social network for seniors seems out of date. In fact, it is worth understanding that all such projects that took off after Facebook became not its clone, but something unique. This market itself is rather strange, there is only one social network on a global scale. So it makes no sense to analyze competitors rationally. In fact, there is one leader with a bunch of real flaws and different social networks without a universal model. From this point of view, everything becomes much easier, and there is nothing to be ashamed of your project. History does not know of such a case that a global enterprise at any stage of development would not have a dangerous and global competitor.
The best place to start a startup is in Silicon Valley. Many people love this birthplace of high-tech startups, if only for its invaluable experience. And it's hard to argue with the fact that it is easy to launch new projects in Silicon Valley. But are there no other alternatives? The famous advantages of Silicon Valley were formed decades ago, since then the world has changed significantly. In some way, the production of the Valley has shaken its prestige.
Today you can find an investor anywhere in the world. Conversations with foundations can be conducted via videoconferences. Investment applications are also submitted remotely. Businessmen share their experience through online training systems. Coaches prefer to work with their students through planning systems. The Internet allows you to recruit a team of programmers from all over the world. The main thing that Silicon Valley has given is globalization. Now everyone can do what he likes and where he likes. The special atmosphere that prevails in the Valley is often cited as an example. And indeed it is. But more and more often, complete silence reigns in offices - people sit at their computers with their backs to each other, communicating in corporate chats. Such an atmosphere today can be recreated anywhere.
You can't learn entrepreneurship. Modern startups are located in a fairly high-tech market. It is known how they are created, developed, and raise funds. It will not be difficult to program the life of a quality startup - from the moment of its birth to the IPO, to draw a timeline for it. Given the fact that modern computer networks have learned to predict unexpected events, with the right approach, a startup turns into an ordinary craft. Today it is difficult to believe in it, but more and more often they say that in business more and more skills are needed, not creativity. Well-trained specialists will create a stream of startups that the market needs. Naturally, out of the box geniuses will be at the top, but most products will be created automatically. So, more and more often, businessmen will not be born, but become. It will be a new profession, a cross between a sales manager and a film producer. And in this regard, business education will be more and more important. He, of course, has to become different. Academic scientists from modern MBA schools will be in charge of methodology, while real learning will be concentrated in business incubators.