TalkinTechPH has lift off: 5 things I realized while building a startup
The experience of building and launching a startup in just few weeks after the idea.
March 12, 2020
Starting a company is NOT a walk in the park
It started out as an idea I asked my cousin and co-founder Mavin Reyes. I wanted to use the skills I acquired during college and cultivated during my internship to use, by helping the community I grew up in become aware of how technology can innovate their business and way of life. Either that, or let it all go to waste, have a change in career and start again from scratch.
Mavin and I were having a casual conversation on messenger. Exchanging ideas, talking about family, work- then the idea came into mind. And like every person who thought their idea was cool and marketable, I asked,
"Why don't we build a startup?"
Exciting as it may sound, little did I know, the things we were about to go through to make this idea a reality, were things I have not or barely experienced yet.
Here are the 5 things I realized while building a startup:
- A lot of planning is required
- Launch it in the shortest amount of time possible
- Insufficient sleep
- People will doubt your idea
- You will be swimming in the dark
1. A lot of planning is required
Funds, Company Name, Services, Target Market, Logo, Business slogan, these are just some of the things you have to plan and decide on when starting out your business. Other things that would require a lot discussion with your team would be:
- How much do we need to make this work?
- Will we need a website?
- How should we price our services to our clients?
- What should our workflow be like when working with our clients?
- Should we expand our team and look for other members?
- What channels and strategies can we use to market our business?
It's a matter of what your company is, what does it offer, who is it for, and if people actually have a need for it.
2. Launch it in the shortest amount of time possible
According to one of the Lean Principles:
"Rather than engaging in months of planning and research, entrepreneurs accept that all they have on day one is a series of untested hypotheses—basically, good guesses."
All that planning for your business, is just an experiment to see if your business will have any significant purpose for potential customers of your target market—most of the time, it fails. So instead of taking months of devising how you'd approach "would be clients" with a product that is probably bound to fail—plan shorter, fail shorter. That way, you can get an idea quicker where your company could improve thanks to customer feedback, steer it to the right direction, try again, and the cycle repeats.
3. Insufficient Sleep
There will be days (and nights) where all you'll ever do is work, plan and build your startup to get it out there as soon as possible. Which means, little or no sleep at all. You may think that this approach is inefficient and unhealthy, but it gets the job done and lets us get results faster so we can reiterate and see what else we could do to make our services better.
4. People will doubt your idea
In any profession and in all walks in life, there will always be those sort of people that will doubt your idea will work. They will do or say anything just bring you down to stop you from achieving your end goals. This case is also true for startup founders. Most of the time their startups fail and the doubters around them proved their point. But that didn't stop them from trying and trying again until something actually works.
Most successful startups use doubters as pillars of encouragement to keep working until their idea reaches a certain point of success where they can finally tell everyone who ever doubted them in the first place, I told you so.
Don't give up just because one out of a thousand of your ideas failed. Some of them are bound to work. And with failure, comes knowledge and experience that can help you decide what works and what doesn't in your entrepreneurial journey.
5. You will be swimming in the dark
I cannot empasize this any better when I say you will be swimming in the dark. Bringing your ideas to life through a startup, means you're diving into the unknown. You have no clue who your customers will be, how your customers will react to your idea, and how sure you are that your idea will work. It's all trial and error. Like I said in the previous section, it's all an experiment to see if your business succeeds or fails.
Every time we engage with customers, we gather data from their feedbacks to know where in our startup can we improve to offer better services for our customer's needs.
Building a startup is an exciting venture. But there will be a lot of factors to consider before diving into the world of entrepreneurs with nothing but your idea. There will be days where it would feel fulfilling, and days where you will be stressed out of your mind.
But if all that struggle and work means bringing your idea to life, earning something from it, help, inspire and create a positive impact for your community, then don't let any of these factors stop you from bringing your idea to where it needs to be.
It's a big world out there, and building startups bring out the best of us to help make a difference.
Other sources you may like
- Why 90% of Startups Fail, and What to Do About It
- Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything
- How to Build a Successful Startup Team in the Philippines
- After 10 Years, How Has the Lean Startup Fared?