Last January 21-23, 2021, Nanyang Technology University (NTU) hosted Ideas Jam 2021, an Ideation event organized by Garage@EEE. The virtual event included a series of curated workshops where students and budding entrepreneurs were taught how to turn their big ideas into a reality that can succeed in the market. Webpuppies CEO Abhii Dabas was one of the key lecturers during the event.
Abhii started his presentation by discussing the several steps that go into launching a big idea and making sure that it succeeds as a startup. From his personal experience as a CEO of a digital solutions company that has helped facilitate digital transformation for many organizations and as a mentor who has worked with many startups from different sectors across the globe, Abhii has gained a lot of insight into what usually works and what doesn’t when it comes to building your own startup.
According to Abhii, here are the steps in building a startup:
1. Think of an idea
2. Find a Co-Founder
3. Choose the right technology platform
4. Build a business plan
5. Focus on building a great UI/UX
6. Build an MVP
7. Build a team
8. Manage the development
9. Go to market
10. Build a customer base
11. Listen to the early adopters
12. Expand your reach
More details on the video:
These are crucial steps that founders and entrepreneurs need to recognize and pay special attention because a simple misstep can greatly affect your business and cause it to go downhill. Oftentimes, startups don’t succeed because they fail at different steps of their entrepreneurial journey; for example, they may have found the right co-founder but they chose the wrong technology platform or they may have built a great UI of their product, but the user experience isn’t satisfactory enough.
When it comes to choosing the right co-founder for your startup, Abhii is firm on one thing: if you can’t find the right co-founder, go solo. It’s better to build your business by yourself than go with the wrong co-founder for just the sake of simply having one; once you’ve brought your startup from one stage to another, you can always find more people which you can sell some stock options to. You don’t necessarily have to find the right co-founder in order for you to get started on your journey.
However, getting a co-founder is often recommended however difficult it is to find. When choosing one, here are some key factors that you should keep in mind to help you make the right choice:
Find someone who has a skill set complementary to yours. If you’re a game designer, find someone who can help you with the marketing of your product.
Find someone with a similar mission and vision as you. It’s better if you and your co-founder are working towards the same goal.
Pick someone who’s on the same boat as you so the two of you can have similar priorities.
It’s advisable to find someone who’s in the same group and lifestyle as you. Choose someone who’s willing to put in 18-20 hours a week just as much as you do.
How do you measure the success of your venture? Here are the four things that you should consider: passion, skill, scalability, and organizational structure.
Passion is what will pull you back into your goal and why you started your venture in the first place. Opportunities are everywhere but passion will ground you to your mission and vision. Skillset will give you leverage. Scalability will determine if your business idea is big and good enough to grow over the years. And lastly, your business idea should have the ability to be institutionalized. Determine if your business can give you the capacity to a team skilled enough to run the company on their own. Make sure that your business can be institutionalized by building processes and products that are not individually-driven and co-exist with each other.
Abhii concluded the workshop by discussing emerging technologies that startups could look into at the moment for great opportunities. Finding the right technology platform is just as important in determining the success of your startup. Technology is rapidly disrupting industries at the moment including healthcare, finance, education, retail, logistics, and many more.
Some of the emerging technologies mentioned were serverless computing, virtual & augmented reality, artificial intelligence & big data, and biometrics. These technologies are all experiencing exciting developments that might prove to be useful for your business or startup, once utilized correctly.
The bottom line: Making your startup succeed requires a long and tedious journey. It requires a lot of hard work, market research, choosing the right platform, and finding the right co-founder and people to work with.