Start Saturday: What You Need to Build A Thriving Startup

Hello again! How is your Saturday going? I hope it’s good for you.

First of all, if you haven’t read my first post in the series, be sure to check it here. I wrote about the things you should reconsider before you build your own company. I think they are pretty important because building a startup is not as easy and as wonderful as you think.

Today, I’d like to share some things you will certainly need if you want to build a thriving startup. But first I want to let you know that I am no successful entrepreneur. I failed the last time I try to build my startup. This post is basically inspired by that failure. I learned things and I know what caused my failure. And I think you probably need to know about these things to avoid failure.

1. Have a Strong Vision for Your Startup

Actually, you also need a personal vision for your life. Personal vision is very important because it will guide you and help you find a path if you ever lost in the wild. The vision you have will give you a purpose for your life. This vision can be used to initiate, evaluate and refine all of your activities.

As with your life, your startup need a strong vision too. This vision will let you and your team know what direction you should go. It will help you to lay bricks in your path to success. A vision also let you set a goal and plan a strategy to achieve it. Look, all the greatest tech company has an clear and strong vision and your startup certainly needs one too.

To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful —Google Vision Statement

2. Choose The Right Co-Founder

Founding a startup alone is probably the worst mistake you can do. Without a co-founder, you won’t have a colleague to brainstorm with. Without a co-founder, nobody will stop you from doing your stupid decisions. Without a co-founder, you probably won’t have someone who cheers you when things went wrong.

That’s why, choosing the right co-founder is very important. You should also make sure your co-founders share the same vision as yours. A founder conflict is one of the many big reasons startups fail. As my professor said to me, choosing co-founder is like choosing a spouse, you are probably bound for life. So, choose your co-founder wisely.

3. You Need to Dedicate Your Life for Your Company

As far as I can tell, most startup in my class didn’t thrive because the founders didn’t have enough dedication for their company. Everyone is busy with their own studies and didn’t even care about their company. This is also one of many reasons my startup didn’t launch too.

I’m not saying that it’s bad, I know everyone have their own life to take care. But if you’re really serious about building a startup, you better quit your job and dedicate your whole life into your company. At least you know if you can live the startup life, if you can’t you probably should not build a company at all.

4. Solve A Real Problem

This is one sentence my professor did tell a lot. He said that you shouldn’t build a startup because you want to get rich. He said that you need to build a startup that solves a real problem. If you solve a real problem, recognition and money will follow. This is the mindset most founder didn’t have. People built a startup simply because they think they have a good idea. But turns out they are wrong and their company eventually dead.

The problem you’re solving shouldn’t be too big. You can probably be a multi-billionaire if you solve world hunger or if you cured cancer. But can you? Most successful startup solve a problem their founders had. So, start looking about things around you, take a note for every complaint you or your friends had and try to work a solution for them.

5. A Timely Launch and Fast Iteration

A good timing for your launch is critical for your company’s future. Launch your product too early and you probably won’t impress enough people with your buggy and useless product. Launch too late and you will waste your precious time you could use to test and iterate your product instead. That’s why you should really think when to launch your product. People usually advise startup to build an MVP and launch their product as soon as they can. But for some industries, fast iteration is just impossible.

But if you build a company in an industry where fast iteration is possible, make sure you do it. That way you can improve your product constantly and you can perfect your product faster. That’s why it’s very helpful if you use what you make. You can test it yourself and you can iterate faster.

That is all for today. Do you have any thought on what should a founder have to build a thriving startup? Leave some comments below!

Start Saturday is a weekly feature about startup. This feature is written based on my personal experience when I took a Tech-Based Business class in my college back in the Spring Semester 2015. I will write anything I learned both from the class and from the failure of my startup.

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