The important characteristics of an entrepreneur or start-up
By Ashok Suppiah, CEO and Co-Founder of Mitra Innovation
There is no science or formula for a start-up to become successful. However, experience shows that 10% of the entrepreneurs and start-ups that succeed master three very important characteristics:
- Commitment and team strength
- Passion to innovate
- Early market validation.
Last week I posted an article about ‘Commitment and Team Strength’. This second article in the series is about ‘A Passion to Innovate’.
A Passion to innovate
Entrepreneurs have a passion for change and create products that are innovative and ‘right’ for the market, which also simplify or enrich people’s lives
At Mitra, we see various types of products and services innovation, however not everyone gets it right first time. With reference to the technology world in particular we see three types of technology innovation amongst entrepreneurs:
1) Entrepreneurs with ideas which provide consumers with new ways of doing things.
- We bank nowadays via mobile apps, rather than visiting the branches.
- We watch entire series on Netflix in one sitting, rather than waiting for the TV to air new episodes each week.
- We don’t call cab companies anymore, instead we hail an Uber taxi on 4G.
- When did you last read a printed dictionary? There’s no need when Google provides the answers.
Banking, watching TV, understanding the meaning of/how to spell words, and finding a taxi are not new activities, but tech entrepreneurs have made them seem new by making it possible for us to do things differently, more efficiently, perhaps safer even and without taking much time from our busy calendar.
2) Entrepreneurs disrupting old ideas, with better, new improved versions
Some entrepreneurs may not have the initial ideas, but their innovation, their drive, and their passion enables them to take old ideas (phones, shopping, holiday accommodation) and improve them to such an extent that they are now seen as innovative.
- Apple did not invent Smartphones, but they’ve been innovative in the types of Smartphones they’ve launched and the way they have launched them.
- Online shopping also existed long before Amazon did, but Amazon have managed to perfect it, especially with their offerings such as Amazon Prime next day delivery, or even Amazon Now delivery within an hour? (Who would ever have thought you could order something online and have it delivered to your door with 60 minutes on Boxing day?)
- Holiday accommodation websites have been around for years too, but AirBnB have managed to launch a new version where everyday people can easily make some money by renting their homes out for mini breaks or holidays. This is an innovative approach which has certainly disrupted the traditional idea of booking cottages, holiday homes, or hotels on traditional travel sites.
3) Aggregators entrepreneurs who bundle individual services into much bigger offerings.
Aggregator entrepreneurs have a vision because they see the potential in a number of products or services and what can be achieved by bringing it all together. They focus on simplifying our purchasing process within a specific area.
- Travel sites such as Booking.com and TripAdvisor have empowered consumers to make the right choices for travelling. Every hotel provides their own reservation system, but Booking.com has made it easier to book many hotels via one single app. It’s very elegant.
- There are websites available where we can find childcare services, or dog walking services in any location, with many recommendations, all from one place.
- When shopping across the web, instead of simply looking at individual luxury clothing websites, we can now visit sites such as Net-a-porter.com where many products from luxury brands have been aggregated into one place and are available to buy.
- For fans of Nando’s and Gourmet Burger, there’s no need to simply stick to an Indian or Chinese if you want your food delivered, as Deliveroo – a London start-up founded in 2013 – aims to deliver Nando’s and Gourmet Burger to your door within 40 minutes. (They also now support numerous other restaurants in UK and few other countries.)
When it comes to product innovation, passionate and innovative entrepreneurs have a head start if they are constantly thinking of these five paramount questions:
- Am I simplifying someone’s life?
- Why would customers buy my product? Am I adding value?
- Will they really ‘love’ my product?
- Is the market ready or am I too early?
- Can I raise the funds and assemble the right team?
They will be successful if their ideas are strong, powerful, innovative and focused on simplicity, solving peoples’ problems and improving lives.
If you’re a budding entrepreneur, we hope you’ve found this article useful.
Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?
Strive to be the one out of 10 startups that succeeds.
The third and final article in this series ‘How to turn a great idea into a successful business: The important characteristics of an entrepreneur or start-up’ will be about a ‘Early Market Validation’.
If you would like to read all three characteristics please contact Mitra for a copy of our complete publication titled ‘How to turn a great idea into a successful business: The important characteristics of an entrepreneur or start-up’.
Mitra for entrepreneurs
If you have a start-up that needs starting up, contact us today about the Mitra Start-Up Kit: an intensive three week programme that will help you transform your idea into everything you need to launch your business, and you’ll walk away with a fully-fledged business model, a product prototype, and a kick-ass investor pitch.
For further information please contact us at 0208 090 4121, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You could also hear more by joining our webinar on Tuesday 10 May 2016 titled: ‘How to be successful as a technology start-up’.
Ashok Suppiah is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully started several tech companies over his 20-year career. With a passion to innovate using pioneering technology, he has helped over 40 startup clients including edocs Inc (part of Oracle)
Ashok is the CEO and co-founder of Mitra Innovation.
You can connect with Ashok on Linkedin and Twitter or via email. For further information please contact us at 0208 090 4121, or email@example.com.