Research shows eight out of ten startups fail but those that do survive are most likely in e-commerce, mobile apps or agriculture.
David Wareing co-founded GetReminded, a free app that helps you save money by simply reminding you when your household contracts are up for renewal. Here he shares his six key learnings over four years of creating a startup.
1. Find partners with complimentary skills
Although I may have had a great idea I was well aware that I didn't have ALL the skills and time to build a business by myself. This is important as creating a business is as much about innovation and ideas as the operational and administrative. Finding business partners who brought skills that were not the same as me was critical to success.
2. Setting Realistic goals
With all the excitement and optimism of any new business idea the biggest learning was about setting goals that were achievable. Ensuring we had a viable pathway from MVP (Minimum viable product) to rapid adoption and then commercialisation of our business was a vital component to both sustaining the partnership but also to maintain momentum.
3. When you've got a good idea... stick to it
Many people asked me how we came up with the idea of for my start-up, but I'm often more proud of the fact that we have never deviated from the original philosophy we set out to achieve which was to serve the best interests of our subscribers. This has at times been challenging as most people I interact with seem to have suggestions of how to change the business without fully appreciating the essence of what we set out to achieve.
4. Solve a problem that customers have even if they don't know it's a problem.
This is an old adage, but I never really understood this until we started on our journey. In a very congested environment where there are literally millions of innovative digital assets in the marketplace it was an important step to ensure we validated our business concept as something that consumers ACTUALLY needed. My time as a rideshare driver gave me the opportunity to constantly validate the concept as we developed.
5. It's GONNA be great?
I have always had a simple mantra, we always talk about something once it ACTUALLY exists. Invariably technology development takes time (and money!) but making predictions to investors or customers without the benefit of being able to show them is fraught with risk. We went through 3 technology builds to ensure our platform worked before we ever presented to potential advertisers and commercial partners.
6. Focus on the product... not the money
We once had an investor tell us that he never invested in a company for the sole reason of making money. He went on to clarify that the most important characteristic he sought was a business that was focussed on solving a problem... and if we did that well then the financial rewards would logically follow. I have never forgotten this.