Founding a startup company is not one of the easiest things in the world to do. Nine times out of ten you would find you questioning yourself; wondering if you were insane to actually consider this in the first place and wondering why on earth you thought it was ever going to work. As a founder or co-founder, you are continuously faced with the fear of uncertainty; would your company still be relevant in the next three years or would it go the way thousands of others have gone? So you have an idea, but how would it ultimately translate to cash in the bank for you?
Let us start with the idea- a lot of people have come up with phenomenal ideas that have never seen the light of day. Some because they never thought getting a second and third opinion was necessary. It would be wise to want to keep some information to yourself but then again how would you know what people think of idea if you do not ask? Be open to feedback both positive and negative. No doubt you would feel like defending your “baby” but It is best you iron out the kinks at this stage before you have a million people making a million negative comments about your startup when the number could have been significantly lesser at the planning stage.
Next stage, your idea has been perfected, issues have been trashed out and now you need investors. At this stage Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora suggests you learn the art of public speaking. Startups have failed even before they took off because the initiator could not adequately pitch his or her idea clearly to a group of potential investors. At this point you want to be clear and concise. One of the principles of effective communication is that you speak or write for the least person in your audience to understand. The average teen should be able to figure out what you are going for. Pitching your idea is a whole topic on its own and would be treated sufficiently in subsequent posts.
Finally you have this amazing idea, you have given a world class pitch that has attracted some billionaire with cash to spare and now you are ready for take-off but hold on just a sec, who are your crew members? Your founding team is the foundation of your business. They would determine your success. First of all, you do not need a crowd, five people who share the vision with you and are passionate about what you aim to achieve is as good as it’s going to get. Bernd Schoner who is the author of The Tech Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide and co-founder of The radio frequency identification technology company ThingMagic says
“Having the right team determines the path and outcome of a new venture more than any decision in the lifecycle of a company,”
He could not have been more correct and concise. On your worst days, you would want to listen to those people who would encourage you to take another step into unchartered territory and be right there with you every step of the way. So, whomever you choose, make sure the team consists of the brain behind the project, the actor who adores the spotlight and makes your team look good, the go-getter, the industry guru, the financial wiz and the guy with the riding crop.