So, you’ve got a great idea for a new product or service that can change the world or transform an industry. Now, your goal is to bring your idea to life. There are many useful how-to guides on creating a business plan, attracting investor backing, and taking one of the millions of steps it takes to truly build a successful startup.
Tragically, the fundamental building blocks of a startup are intangible and vary widely. Your attitude as you approach the project can make or break your venture. Here are three essential principles to keep in mind when you’re building a startup:
Always Be Learning
Whether your new idea will improve an industry you’ve worked in for 20 years or transform a sector you’ve experienced only as a customer, there will be things you don’t know about the business. There’s no shame in that — no one knows everything. What is crucial is to understand what you don’t know.
I’ve founded and led several successful tech companies, but my latest venture is in the travel sector, a space I knew a lot about as a customer but in which I had no professional experience. My team and I acknowledged our lack of expertise in this new sector and sought counsel from industry veterans, learning what we needed to know to succeed. And it made a huge difference.
Hire the Best People
Be willing to bring experts onboard to fill the knowledge gaps. Through our own exhaustive research and generous advice from industry insiders, my team and I gained an accurate view of what success in our new venture would require, and we quickly recognized the need to hire experienced people.
When setting up our premium travel service, my leadership group and I identified the areas where we needed short-term and long-term expertise and hired people on a full-time or contractor basis. The core team we formed enabled us to create a list of over 400 items that we had to address to meet the high standards we set. That wouldn’t have been possible without expert insight.
Don’t Be Afraid to Innovate
The best startups are built around innovations — they change the world or transform an industry by providing a faster, better, cheaper way of performing a task or delivering a service. But budding entrepreneurs must be mindful of the power of inertia because the old way of doing things is often deeply entrenched.
Whether your startup aims to change an industry you’ve worked in all your life or disrupt a sector you haven’t worked in before, you should be confident enough about your idea to take on the status quo and make the case for a better way. If you can back up your claims with data and offer a superior product or service, people will listen.