It’s vital to improve our skills, to tweak our profession. From my experience we’ll usually learn stuff the most if we simply…dive in it and start playing around. I read business books, constantly keep up with business-oriented blogs and love to watch soccer games(only if my national team is playing, though)!
A few days ago, I was watching the soccer game(Bosnia – Iran) which was quite impressive till Bosnia recieved 3 goals at nearly the end of the watch, this struck me. I realized a few things that can be applied not only in life but also business.
- Be agile – It’s just one of those things that you MUST have in order to win. You have to play really hard, put our heart out there and just keep playing until you reach the finish line. Life is a race, we play hard and we win hard!
- Try to finish the game as you started it – I can’t stress how much important this is. You’ll see these teams winning the match and you think they’re gonna win(it’s 10 minutes till the end of the game) and *BOOM* the other team scores a few goals, and they win. The other team was better, why? Because they kept on going and in the end, it’s the result that counts. So keep on playing even if the game looks dead.
- Keep on playing(even if you’re loosing), the WIN will come – It’s normal for human beings to start with a shit load of enthusiasm, energy and motivation and then as things go on the motivation starts to sink. I know from personal experiance, I started my last startup(BizTeen) with a shit-load of motivation, energy and as time was passing by I had motivation really down, eventually the WIN came, we got an offer from this large company to buy us out. All because we kept on playing. The WIN will come, be patient and work hard.
Hopefully these points will help you improve your entrepreneurial skills. And if you feel that you have another suggestion to share please to help other entrepreneurs, please leave a comment.
Before I say anything regarding this topic I must clarify that the post only relates to startups without employees.
When I started my previous startup, Spinly, we planned a whole lot of things. We planned and planned. We had everything planned out. Three months went by and we were ready to start developing. The only problem was, the motivation had been lost. We had the mockups planned, functionality, everything! After barely developing the product we didn’t have the product we planned on, we had some piece of crap. All because we planned on so many aspects(including a Business plan). One thing is that it drives motivation DOWN. I know this from personal experience, I’m sure you guys have had similar experiences. You plan on having 100 users, unfortunately you only get 10. Your motivation just starts sinking till it crosses the point where you don’t really wanna work a lot(on the product).
I’ve realized that you simply can’t plan on how much users you will have or how much money you’ll have from the product or how the product will look like(you just have to jump right in). When we were working on BizTeen we were told by a lot of people that you must do market research, that you must do mockups in Balsamiq(which I think is an abstraction of how mockups should be done).
We did balsamiq mockups but the thing was the product turned out totally different. Why? Because balsamiq gives you all these neat features that you think would go good and everything, yet when you start designing the actual product you come to the thought that YOU DONT NEED ALL THOSE FEATURES. Let your users tell you what you NEED!
When we did the market research we figure there were 400million users that could use our product – BizTeen. Market research is bullshit. You can’t expect everyone to visit your site. Just like Apple, they dont expect PC users, but…a lot of their users are former PC users(I can guarantee you that they didn’t plan that!).
After the past experiences I don’t plan anything. I don’t even do market research. Trust me, if you find it useful, I GUARANTEE SOMEONE ELSE WILL TOO! We just jump in and start developing, after doing some sorta brainstorming(what features we should add, etc). We ask a couple of “target users” what they think and then based on the majority of decisions we decide whether we’re gonna add that feature or not. Now I’m not pushing you into not doing any sort of planning, you should, but not much planning. You should do the planning that’ll affect your current product(like “We think we should add a update your status bar”), don’t do the planing that contains a 3rd factor(something that you don’t have a good “grip” on). Don’t plan on the conditions when you have X visitors, rather figure out how to solve the problems that are CURRENTLY facing you.
I hope you find this apealing, make use of the mistakes other people made cause TRUST ME that’ll save you a bunch of time!
I can’t stress how important it is to do the design of your product first and then code it.
When I was working on my startup(bizteen.net) I first started coding it and then came to the stage that a lot of startups come to(“uuh should I add x here? should users be able to update statuses from one page or everywhere?:) the questions you ask yourself are definitely linked with the actual software infrastructure.
After a failed attempt with BizTeen I decided to do it all over again, this time start by designing the entire User interface. After I was done designing and slicing the PSD into XHTML/CSS I started the coding. Marvelously this worked perfectly. The application was created in no time.
After surviving that I really don’t understand when teams start the coding of a web app. first. It can definitely mislead the entire product into something you didn’t expect. My tip would be do the Design first and then code.
…what are your thoughts on this? have you had similar experiences?
This is my first blog post. On behalf of that, I’d like to welcome you to my blog. I’ll be writing posts on various topics that I find useful and interesting.