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Secrets of Startup Success #1

An idea is your invention. It starts with one person and then expands with other individuals with the skill sets to turn your idea into innovation. Innovation is when you monetize your idea. Innovation is not an individual activity.

Innovation, successful innovation is created by building a team with skill sets to accomplish your success. Success, pending on where you are in the process, can be reference customer, first sale or usage, market validation, first sales, increase in number of customers, increase in customer usage, profitability and additional fund raising or sale of the entity.

The partners at SiliconAlley Startup Asset Management have identified the five steps to startup success.

  1. Messaging – What business are you in? Do you have a good elevator pitch? What is the problem which you solve? Have you identified the first type of customer? You aren’t selling a platform, you are solving a problem. And it should be a big problem.
  2. Business Plan and Board Members – We write better business plans, Period. We also have a huge Rolodex with many potential Board Members also with a big Rolodex. In short, we find you better Board Members for your business. Board Members successful and able to contribute towards your success.
  3. Reference Customer – Who is that initial customer who makes all your other prospects become customers? We know who they are, do you?
  4. MVP – Are you building, do you build the minimal viable product to go to market with your initial customers? Or are you building additional feature sets which are nice, service a purpose but aren’t really necessary to determine if you solve that big problem which your customers need? We get you out of your head and go to market quicker. Startups are a sprint and not a marathon. Go to market quicker.
  5. Market Validation –Traction, increase in customers, increase in customer usage, evangelists, community, sales, earnings, liquidity. There are many levels of success but they all have market validation. What’s your next step for market validation?
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