Some people say “you are what you believe”. By that they mean it truly matters what you choose to believe in, as it makes you YOU.
But don’t you think that the other way around, what you do not believe in, would matter just the same. Or even more?
Let’s redefine startups
Talking about startups, I bet the first thought that pops up in your mind must be “innovation” or “innovative” ideas. It refers to the belief that startups should try to create something no one has ever done before – so-called “innovation”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In fact, innovation does not give you a warranty of success. It’s full of risks and uncertainties which would be too much for most startups. Let’s cut through the common thoughts and get at the facts.
Most entrepreneurs have a brain full of innovative ideas and they started their business strongly believing that they are creating the next big things. Statistics show that over 90% of them fail in their first years. Here is how things usually go.
Startups are often flashed through the mind of young people who oftentimes are in their early 20s. They’ve got a brilliant idea, a brand new solution to existing problems that no companies, big or small, have thought of creating one.
Quickly enough, they passionately crave to go from idea to actual business before anybody else jumping in. They started building the solutions on limited funds. As soon as the product comes out, they try in vain to sell and realize that no one buys their solution. Eventually, the startup runs out of money and dies in the first year.
Of course, the story will be told differently if the startup has unlimited funds to restart, which is unusual for the majority.
Innovation is incredible and no one can deny its vital role in the modern era. The point here is small businesses should not carry out the same innovation like other big enterprises.
You don’t have to be a pioneer
Startups don’t necessarily need to invent new technology or try to be innovative. The wise would take a fresh approach to solve the problems with existing resources instead.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many people have recently become Tiktok-ers due to the stay-at-home order. It’s undeniable that Tiktok is creating a global trend with its owner being the world’s most valuable startup. But should we call it an inventor or a pioneer?
Obviously, there is nothing “genuinely original” about its technology or idea. In fact, video sharing and social networking services have long been established by others. Tiktok was just built using a different way to fill a niche, creating an online community to share short videos instead of status or pictures.
Actually, people can still share videos with Facebook or Instagram. The thing is they’re just not originally built for the same purposes as Tiktok, thus still coexisting to meet the diverse needs of user interaction.
Not only the creator of Tiktok but most successful startups also chose not to invent anything new to avoid putting their business at risk. They choose predictable growth over becoming an experiment as in reality, it works.
People say startups are born to be big. So to get the process working, we need to make a good decision on what we could do better than existing businesses. Avoid doing anything no one has ever done, because even yourself could not know whether it will work out or become another failure.
Think about it. Look for the missing pieces of the giant picture. Those are what we – small businesses – can fill in the gap while will not be bothered by “the big guys” – ever!
At Ymese, our lodestar is “Build to Last”. It shapes our mindset and inspires us to keep moving forward and closer to achieving our goals.
For startups like us, success is not determined or something we can see right away. It’s a process and the first step is the most vital to decide whether we get off to a good start.
Let’s define startups the way they actually are – without innovation being a must for startups to begin with. We can create the next big things when we grow big enough. Meanwhile, build something that lasts.