Is there really a way of failure-proofing something as a startup? Sameer Desai of Brand Launch Centre thinks so
Corporates today are not worried about what the other corporates are doing. They are instead worried about what startups are building in garages and hence, after trying to do everything to keep up with their pace, are now funding them,
said Sameer Desai of Brand Launch Centre in an interesting workshop on ‘Tips on failure-proofing your startup launch by co-creating with customers, mentors and investors'.
In the highly interactive session, Sameer stressed on what startups should focus on and where they are going wrong.
“Instead of focusing solely on the product, startups should think about doing other fundamental things right from the idea stage. This can be summarised in six points, namely co-creation, pricing relevance, ease of use, market acceptance, identifying customer needs, and tech-friendliness.”
Startups know what they are building and desperately want to sell it but what they need to know before anything else is why they made it. Believing in why you did what you did is pivotal.
Products have rationales and customers have emotions; tap that! If you think rationally in business, you will have a hundred people doing the same thing, but if you capitalise on emotion, you will be different.
If you are building a startup, there are certain questions which you need to ask yourself, feels Ashwin. They include:
- What need are you addressing?
- Are you satisfying a REAL need?
- Is your product impacting the lives of your customers?
- What is your competition doing?
Most startups toil for years together, build a product, and then begin hunting for investors. Sameer feels this is a flawed method.
“You know how important an investor is to your startup. So, why wait for him? Involve investors from the idea stage so they know what you are doing from the start. People like to do business with who they are familiar with. Also, interacting with investors from the start gives you a lot of additional insight on what’s happening in the ecosystem and lets you understand what exactly they are looking for.
3) Traction: This is not about how much you have made but how much you are likely to make
4) Mentor creation: People who can bridge the gap between customers and investors with their experience.
Speaking of a checklist for any startup that is prepping for a launch, Sameer said,
Their own passion is important, but obsession is not. Understand, if it has to be a commercial enterprise, it has to solve the problem of customers.
But what after a successful launch and a few great years of operations? How does a startup continually do well?
It’s not about getting it right at once. As long as people keep evolving, you cannot stop working. Every day is a new day.
While we are all aiming at achieving success and avoiding failure, Sameer feels they are both results that are not under our control. However, what we can control is our actions, and the more the precision with which we carry them out, the further we go in avoiding failure.
A big shoutout to all our sponsors - Zendesk, Axis Bank, Sequoia Capital India Advisors , Digital Ocean, Microsoft, AWS, Akamai, Target, Verisign, Kerala Startup Mission, Brand Launch Centre, Tork and Blink.