I have a privilege to personally mentor and work with young entrepreneurs and startup companies from various industry backgrounds in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It is equally a learning process for me as well, to fathom their business models, ideas and go-to market strategies.
Indeed, it would be cruel to totally dismiss the business ideas, without invigorating them with the right tools. But sometimes I have to tell them the very thing they don’t want to hear, at the soonest, like due to a lack of experience or research done, they bound to commit these common mistakes.
Here are 3 common mistakes based on my direct experience as a mentor and “bootstrapper”:
Selling technologies instead of providing solutions
Many startup companies are, in principal, selling their technology ideas instead of offering real solutions. It is true that they found some technology gaps in the processes.
Often they get carried away with their innovative and brilliant technologies without realising the market is not ready yet. Nevertheless, providing immediate solutions is admissible than value added propositions.
Killing two birds with one stone (e-commerce syndrome)
This is a typical ‘e-commerce syndrome’ – a perfect term to describe startup companies that address issues on the both sides of the fence i.e. buyers and sellers or users and providers.
When you’re pitching to investors, you need to be clear whose issues that you focus on.
Teeb TV, for instance, takes on the shortage of avenues for independent filmmakers to showcase their materials, instead of offering alternative entertainment contents to viewers.
On the contrary, Airbnb and Uber, both are addressing concerns from user point of view. Their apps are for the users to find willing providers. Building up your business model one-sided can keep your ideas on track and put your resources to work effectively.
No scalability factor
So often startup companies ignore the importance of scalability factor. At some point, a company needs investors to expand and feed the growth. Unclear or no scalability factors may hinder growth and kill startup companies. It is paramount for startup companies to choose the right side – whichever that has a greater volume. That will be your numero uno scalability factor.
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