The Startup Curve: An Entrepreneurial Life

Source | Entrepreneur : By 

Jumping Lanes – Often investors fund companies to evolve new technology-driven business models that can scale, are profitable and can generate significant return on investment. This means business model innovation is the key.

When we innovate, it could go either way. Either we could go down the path of burning a lot of money and shut-shop or the new model could hit the right spot and the company soars. What I realized is that while choosing a certain path, it is important to keep an eye on an alternate and perhaps a contrary path and be comfortable to adopt it, if necessary — basically, an ability to quickly jump lanes.

A well-conceived strategy is not working out? Then quickly discard and move on to the adjacent or the contrary — doesn’t matter. While the transition was difficult, it helped us jump lanes from B2B to B2C.

Frills and Features – A business model never works only on frills and features. Adoption of technology comes with value add. Customers and suppliers need to see benefits. It could be convenience, cost reduction, a business opportunity, a strong emotional connect or a powerful network and what have you.

But the core of what you offer has to be compelling and really simple. Especially, when you choose a large networked-market, it is important to segment the opportunity and offer simple and specific solutions else it is easy to get lost. There never really are big wins. All wins are usually incremental. Failures, too, are not usually monumental.

They are a series of mis-judgments, misalignments and missed calls. Always one customer refers the next. Market share is not about how much percentage of business we have garnered, but how many customers are referring you and choosing your services over the others.

This is How it is Done – When you enter a space, say internet business space, could be e-commerce or cab hailing or food or logistics or healthcare – some startups have already grown into behemoths with multi-round funding.

They created pitch-perfect businesses and have been in the media so much that they have have created an mindset for an eco-system of customers, suppliers, people, partners, investors and so on that ‘this is how business is done’. Over the years, these companies defined their business models and became successful.

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