“Being 3 to 4 standards deviations outlier on determination“
Whether you’re a visionary with a groundbreaking idea or someone looking to turn their passion into a profitable venture, embarking on the journey of entrepreneurship offers the promise of innovation, independence, and limitless growth. At the same time, there are challenges in this journey that can make all the difference between thriving and merely surviving.
Over the last 20 years, I have worked both in MNC corporates and in startups. Within the startup environment, I have founded investor-funded startups and client revenue-funded startups. Here are my top 5 tips for budding entrepreneurs –
- Focus on generating revenue. Do not go for growth at the cost of revenue. A revenue-funded startup will outlast an investor-funded startup. It will also give you a lot more sense of purpose and personal satisfaction. If you build for investment, you will fail. If you build for revenue, investors will chase you.
- Do not get too attached to your idea of what will work in the market. Find some client/s who are ready to pay for your idea, and then build for them. After you have successfully done this, replicate that model for other clients at scale. This will ensure that you are building what is needed in the market. It will also provide you with revenue to fund your venture.
- Be persistent on the idea of value creation, but don’t be stubborn about any particular path to value creation. Be fearless about changing direction mid-journey, multiple times if required. e.g. in the field that we are in – applications of AI in business, technology changes are happening at breakneck speed. We have to keep disrupting our creations repeatedly in order to stay competitive.
- Select your core team based on their sincerity, not just their smartness. The first few years of a startup journey are going to be extremely difficult. Being with compassionate and sincere people during those times will make the journey easier for everyone involved.
- And finally, or rather firstly, be sure that you are determined enough to just hang on while pursuing the path of entrepreneurship. You will be surprised by the quantity and frequency of things that will go wrong. As Sam Altman says – ‘being 3 to 4 standards deviations outlier on determination’ is the most important quality of an entrepreneur,