The simple secret to running a Successful Start-Up
by Tom Wood, the CEO of Cazana.
In a world of AI, algorithms and virtual reality, you could be forgiven for thinking that the unicorns of tomorrow will all be peddling the kind of mind-blowing wizardry that our mere mortal brains just can’t comprehend. The conventional wisdom would lead most budding entrepreneurs to believe that unless they have a Masters in Computer Science or Software Engineering, they may as well not bother entering the start-up world.
But this mindset is as damaging as it is wrong.
In reality, those championing simple ideas, ones which solve real problems, service existing customer needs, and, crucially, ones that you believe in, are the businesses which will go far. Whether you’ve got an idea about how we walk our dogs or how we choose our toothpaste; if you believe in it, embrace it.
Whilst it’s true that the rapidly evolving tech landscape is powering hugely exciting start-ups, it’s important to make the distinction between a business offering and the technology which makes it happen. Whilst the latter can be sophisticated, it doesn’t mean the public facing offer needs to be similarly complicated. Some of the most successful start-ups in the world are based on offering simple solutions to common problems. It’s vital that budding entrepreneurs remember this.
Whilst Uber and Airbnb employ some of the brightest tech minds in the business, their platforms offer simple, consumer-pleasing services that are easy to engage with. The idea isn’t complicated. In fact, they are annoyingly “why didn’t I think of that” simple.
If you’re a creative who’s brilliant with people and fizzing with new ideas, you could be the perfect start-up CEO. Sure, you won’t be able to do what your CTO does, but that’s OK. Strong start-up teams pull in different types of talent to make the vision a reality. There are no ‘ideal founder’ stipulations; it’s difference that makes the start-up community so vibrant and exciting.
Similarly, if you’re passionate about something and have an idea about how you can turn it into a business, run with it. It was my love for classic cars and the frustration when it came to getting good information about their history that led me to set up Cazana.
Don’t let what others are doing (or, more likely, saying) steer you off course. A simple idea that you believe in can be the bedrock of a hugely successful company. And, if you don’t have the technical nous to turn the creative in code, that’s where seeking out suitable co-founders comes in.
It’s that simple; focus on something that you believe will solve a problem or service a need. Whether it’s a business model that solves something super simple, or an offering tackling a crazily complex issue; both have their place in start-up land. Don’t be intimidated to join the party, there’s plenty of room.