When looking from the outside in, it is easy to assume that top CEOs achieved all their success in a straightforward way. You get an idea, start and company, and success is simply yours. But as many of them will tell you, it is rarely ever that simple and the road to success is paved with many obstacles. From trying to secure funding to battling competitors to find their niche, the average CEO has to navigate a lot of stumbling blocks to get to the top.
The good thing is that many people, especially newer entrepreneurs, can stand to benefit from hearing about these journeys. And this is what these 4 entrepreneurs are here to share, having operated in one of the most fast-paced and competitive industries in the world; tech. They have established themselves in their fields and now they are sharing their nuggets of wisdom with upcoming entrepreneurs.
We asked these entrepreneurs what is the first thing a newbie should do when starting out as a tech entrepreneur and each gave a unique answer based on their own experiences.
Sergei Sergienko, Founder of Laborx, CGU, and Chronotech, believes that starting out small and taking feedback is the key to future success.
“Before getting into full development of your product, test your idea on a smaller group and get the feedback. This will save you a lot of money and time in the future.”
As for Guy Yanpolskiy, Founder and CEO of GuyWay Group, believes that making connections, both with your customers and contemporaries is the way to go.
“The first right step to do is to dive into the market. Find out the market needs and the ways you can fulfill them. Connect with as many people as you can. Networking is your way to go. Find partners, build valuable connections, talk to people and find out how you can help with their business objectives. Keep in mind that the tech industry is always evolving, and so should you. Grow your expertise every day and keep a pulse on trending technologies,” he says.
Kayvon Kay, Founder and CEO of The Sales Connection, is big on making sure that your business is bringing value and is worth paying for.
“Step 1? Come up with a great idea (or perfect the one you have). Successful tech businesses are built by creating a unique solution to a common problem. Finding the pain point you want to solve and creating a service or product worth paying for is the key to success.
This isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. You can’t just be good at something – you have to know how to implement your skills to improve the life or business of your ideal customer. It doesn’t matter if you’re aiming to solve big problems (global warming) or small ones (low phone battery life) – but you have to solve something.
Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers for clarity: Is there a problem you can solve for people? Is there a market for your product or service? Are people going to pay for what you plan to create?
You cannot create a sustainable business unless you know what problem your product solves and who it helps. Focus on coming up with an idea that will solve a need, rather than just focusing on your skills or interests,” he says.
Another thing that should not be neglected is market research and truly knowing yourself and what you are bringing to the world.
As Jan Strandberg, CEO and Founder of Acquire.Fi, says, “When starting out as a tech entrepreneur, the first thing you should do is figure out what problem you’re solving. What are you trying to make easier or more efficient? Once you’ve identified the problem, you need to validate your idea by conducting market research. Who is your target audience? Is there a demand for your product or service? Once you’ve validated your idea, it’s time to start putting together your team.”