Spokeable

turning average joes into local spokesmodels

Success Tips from the Sunshine State

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Train. Train. Train.

  

keep-calm-and-toughen-up-princess

Toughen Up.

 

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Find A Partner.

Sound like beach-ready boot camp?  True, it is time to start thinking about a bikini ready body, especially if you’re in Miami this spring like the participants at yesterday’s second annual Start-Up City conference.

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These snippets of advice, though, aren’t for getting in shape.  They are bits of start-up wisdom from yesterday’s conference sponsored by The Atlantic.  The gathering of leading entrepreneurs and tech experts  explored models of “urban tech” taking root in Miami and across the world. The  panel of successful entrepreneurs sitting indoors (sorry SoBe lovers) at the New Word Center discussed their top tips for building successful Start-Ups.  Panelists included Michael Jones (Co-creator Google Earth), Colin Raney (Managing Director IDEO), Sam Altman (President Y Combinator)  and David Porter (Founder 8tracks) among others.

This article posted this morning by HuffPost outlines some of the most tantalizing tips. Check them out below!  And congrats to all participants for another very successful event!

“Don’t think you’re the smartest guy in the room. “It’s easy to convince yourself you have all the answers to any problem. Entrepreneurs need the kind of open-mindedness that acknowledges you don’t have all the answers.”

Too Big, Too Fast. “A lot of companies fail from over growth because they use up their cash; you need a certain level of liquidity to operate a successful business.”

Diversify. “A lot of companies fail because they get one big customer. Then you’re just working for them, and you can’t sell that product line to anyone else.”

Be quick to shift. “If I have a lemonade stand and everyone wants Coca Cola, it will take me one minute to dump the lemonade and stock Coca Cola. Innovating means having to adjust daily.”

Be the student. “The customers are in charge, listen to them. I’m selling to them; it’s not for me to have the answers.”

Be an Understudy. “Live with your customers and study their needs before you design for them.”

Get Confident. “Startups are the leading edge of business culture, but a lot of startups lack confidence in themselves.”

Test Kitchen. “Prototype early and often. Prototypes answer questions.”

Tell Your Story. “If you’re a startup you’re in the story telling business. Find your story and tell it.”

Keep Tweaking. “Build like you’re right, and listen like you’re wrong. ”

Identify the one thing to focus on. “Ignore everything else. There are always a million things commanding your attention but focus on the one most important things.”

Faster and Cheaper. “Whenever software can bring down the costs of the physical world, use it.”

Transparency. “Most startups look fine on the outside but are broken on the inside. Transparency is important.”

Keep it in house. “Don’t outsource your on core competencies; it’s important to have them on board and in house. That creates your company’s DNA.”

Make something people want. “The biggest failure is when you make something the market doesn’t want. If you do everything right except for this one thing, you will fail. But if you do everything wrong and you still make something people want, you will most likely succeed.”

Don’t focus on patents and IP. “Don’t get hung up on IP. File a divisional patent, which gives you a year to see if the startup is moving forward. Patent the stuff that’s mildly important, not the stuff that’s super important. When you patent your deepest secrets, you’re essentially giving them away in other jurisdictions.”

Focus on the minimal viable product. “Don’t try to do too much. Everyone has great ideas, some of which can come later but ask yourself what is the simplest thing you can build that has some nugget of value.”

Find a partner. Every successful startup needs a team of collaborators. “You need a creative mind but you also need a business mind to execute.”

You need to scale. “Too many businesses that aren’t in high tech don’t know how to properly scale; they get stuck at the $.5 to $1.5 million revenue range.”

Focus on quality. “Invest all your money in the quality of the product, no matter how lean you are. We bought very expensive vintage roasting machines to get the best quality of coffee.”

Toughen Up. “Having a startup is tough, you need to learn to compete successfully.”

Take the Market Share. “Focus on being cash positive. Be a strong healthy company and go after a big part of the market. Don’t’ be afraid to compete against the big boys.”

Train, train, train. “The most effective way to engage your team is to constantly train them.””

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Author: sspokeable

turning average janes and joes into local spokesmodels

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