6 Lessons Learned From The Best Startups

Lessons Learned Best Startups Lean Entrepreneur Investor Business Success

Article Written by Sandy Carter, CEO-Founder of Silicon-Blitz 

Companies desire more innovative ideas for winning in the marketplace. From the PWC CEO study, over 55% of CEOs believe that businesses need to do more to measure the impact and value of innovation but over 81% believe that their organizations don’t know how to innovate. Startups are driven to innovate. They see the world differently and disrupt at a rapid pace, identifying gaps, building new markets, selling new products and bridging the gap across industries for new ideas. But the secret sauce is not just in the new idea but in the scale of the idea. 

From working with over 10K startups in 90 countries, here are 6 things that the best startups can teach all of us about business success

1. Obsess Over Your Client Feedback Loop. 

Yes, everyone says this but the top startups really do it. In large corporations, senior executives spend less than 17% with clients due to all the other responsibilities they have. Without really understanding your client, you cannot innovate. And guess what? Many startups, after their Series A funding is closed, start to behave more like the behemoths than the agile, lean startup machine that made them who they are! The best founders obsess over the client and their needs and they don’t have it filtered by others in the organization. They dream about the gaps that exist and how to add more value. If your organization is not coming up with new innovation that is meeting the client’s need, examine your feedback loops to determine if you are really meeting a need. 

2. Build An Ecosystem. 

The world is driven by networks today. Building an ecosystem around your solutions is essential. That’s what Uber did with its drivers, and Tesla did by open sourcing for the electric car industry. The best of the best partner and share. They don’t try to go it alone. Julie Myer, CEO of Adriane Capital said that the next round of entrepreneur success will go to those who can figure out Ecosystem Economics. Are you building an ecosystem? If not, why not? 

3. Hire the Scaling Team. 

The best founders assume success and hire a team that can support that success. The people edge is the winning play. But it is not just hiring talent but talent that can scale. Most of the successful startups go for depth of skill. Instead of hiring generalists, they head straight to talent that has done something similar before, and target them to grow and scale the business. Just check out the job openings for your favorite growth company. Are you hiring for today or for tomorrow’s growth? 

4. Balance Blind Faith with False Hope. 

At a recent conference, I heard the analogy of successful startups and the Foo Fighters song - Congregation. The lyrics cry out …”balance blind faith with false hope.” The best startups have a balance between blind faith – pushing forward because they see a different world, and false hope, which is being able to accept and change based on valid client feedback. This skill is required for the best of the best. Do you have it? The ability to balance between the two? 

5. The Pivot. 

Yes, I said it and love this term. Most startups begin with one thought and then change – known as the pivot in the startup world! Their business model doesn’t work as planned and so new growth models must be explored. LinkedIn is completely different than the original vision. Paypal pivoted many times. This fact is why angels and venture capitalists say that they bet on the founder more than the idea. Are you able to change quickly and to motivate the team to transform? Can you re-imagine your assets and talents? You must learn the art of the pivot to be a success. 

6. Hustle Hard Now But Focus Long-Term

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs and marketers make is being inconsistent. Although many startups are accelerated sprints, entrepreneurship and personal brand building is a never-ending marathon. Don't burn yourself out on every little project at the expense of the company's bigger picture or your overall career. Inconsistency, even if it is the result of overworking, is a recipe for disaster in business. You need to think long-term, which means prioritization and organization. Tackle the most important and lucrative projects or potential opportunities first and then the less important tasks. If needed, take a step back from certain projects or turn down smaller opportunities. Work hard and be ambitious, but also to pick your battles and maintain a more steady schedule.

Being an entrepreneur is a courageous journey. I love helping startups step back and explore these 6 elements as they move along their success. Let me know about your startup lessons and how I can help!

Lessons Learned Best Startups Lean Entrepreneur Investor Business Success

Author Bio: Sandy Carter is the founder and CEO of Silicon-Blitz, focused on helping companies with innovation through digital ecosystems, technologies like AI and IoT, and cognitive diversity. One of the leading pioneers in the digital business revolution, Sandy Carter was a driving force of Innovation at IBM for the last decade. She is now CEO and Founder of Silicon-Blitz, helping companies, startups, and individuals alike master innovation. Sandy Carter is an international speaker who has presented in 80+ countries and author of 3 best-selling books, including “The New Language of Business,” “The New Language of Marketing” and “Get Bold” which was translated into 9 languages. 

Consistently recognized by her peers as one of the most influential and powerful women in technology, Forbes named her one of their 2016 Digital Influencers, Onalytica’s Top 100 Influencer both for Cloud and IoT and a Top Channel Chief by CRN Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @Sandy_Carter.

I hope you enjoyed this great article about important business lessons that you can learn from the best startups across the globe.

Interested in more articles about running successful startups?

Read My Related Posts:

- 5 Crucial Characteristics For Startup Success 

- 5 Steps To Start Your Entrepreneur Journey

Edited & Published by Mike Schiemer

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