During these two weeks, I have been collecting feedback on our group’s venture idea. In my personal opinion, a great step forward for the public transport operators. An entertainment platform, only accessible through NFC tags in Stockholm’s public transport by using a smartphone or tablet. Sound cool, doesn’t it? Here is a summary of the feedback I received:
- I tried to collect feedback from five person with different background, here is a description of the people:
- A friend with no academic background
- A friend halfway through his studies in Computer and System Science
- A colleague from the marketing department of my current job
- A student (and friend) from KTH
- A man, much older than the four above. Age ~50.
- The feedback was in general very good. I realized that the description of the actual product is very important. As I was about to describe it to the last person, who lucky was the older man, I already knew which aspect that would be harder to explain, and already had adjusted this explanation, which maybe is the goal of this exercise. Anyway, all the younger people though that this idea was great and that they absolutely would use it was a part of the city’s public transport. I got a lot of feedback on the content of the website, and how companies could advertise here. The older man was a little more But he admitted that it was a great and modern product that probably would be used by the majority of the younger population but also by a big portion of his generation.
- This was very interesting to observe. I noticed that the two persons with a tech education asked the more advanced questions, about the actual execution of the idea. My colleague, a talented marketer, had his focus on the actual content. The older man addressed the question of easy functions and interface.
- The idea will not change after this, but rather gave me further motivation to continue working on this idea. What I actually learned was, as mentioned before,that the description of the product has to a very clear one; to travelers, companies with content on the platform and potential future investors.
My recommendation to those of you who have not collected feedback yet – try to be as diverse as possible when choosing these persons.
Today I read an article about the KTH-started company called Mentimeter. They just got accepted into 500 startups accelerator. This is a huge deal for any company and a great opportunity the reach new heights and evolve as a startup. http://breakit.se/artikel/1510/mentimeter-antagna-till-prestigefylld-accelerator-i-usa
But this got me thinking. This is not a huge idea. This is a couple of students sitting in class and realizing that raising your hands to answer a poll is not working as well as it could. People were afraid of being wrong and looking silly, or people just followed the pack, or something completely different that made the voting unreliable. Instead of complaining about this, like many others do they said to themselves, “this can’t be that hard to fix”.
I believe these exact words are the beginning of a lot of startups. “This can’t be that hard to fix”. It does not have to be something complicated like re-inventing space travel, I’m looking at you Elon, or a complicated social network to unite the world. You just have to find something that could be made a little easier and there you have a base for your start-up.
I suppose a good way to start entrepreneuring is to keep a list with you at all times where you write down whenever something bothers you. And one shouldn’t be afraid to write something down just because you can’t come up with a solution there and then. You can figure that out later…
Mentimeter also kept a blog during their early days. It’s fun reading about the development process and thoughts they had. For example they were used at the iiS (Pernilla Rydmark) organized “Internet days” back in 2012.
During one of the lectures Serdar Temiz mentioned that you should focus on what you have to do right now to become the key player in 5 years.
But what if you have a great idea for a short term solution? I thought of this when I saw a pitch from Scrive. They provide a short term solution for companies which want to implement e-signing, but don’t have the time to wait until their legacy systems are updated. The first thing that came to my mind was that the product they sell is only useful for a couple of years, as I imagine their customers will eventually upgrade and won’t make use of Scrive any more.
I have an idea myself for the pitch, but it focusses on the generation of for instance my parents. Many of this generation know how to use applications as word and excel, but lack the knowledge to do a bit more advanced things like building and launching websites and online applications. As you can imagine the amount of people who lack this more advanced knowledge decreases every day, so if you target this group you’ll eventually run out of customers.
Does this mean you shouldn’t launch this idea? Should you let these potential customers figure it out themselves? I think not. I think that, in line with what Scrive does, you should move fast and provide them with a nice short term solution. However, I would like to know what you think about it. Do you agree? Otherwise, please let me know what I’m missing!
Why I picked this course? There is a simple answer to that question being that one day I might be an entrepreneur myself and I really want to be a good one. Specially I want answer for that what I should do when I have good business idea and I want to create profitable company so the biggest cap or black hole in my knowledge is what comes between great idea and running a quite stable and profitable company. The question is really complicated and there is no right answer for it but I think there is good and bad answers. The real job for me is to evaluate the good ones from the bad ones and then create my own vision how to survive the crucial beginning of my company.
I am not quite sure if these blog posts or tweets help me become the master of entrepreneurship but that we will find out. I have studied just a few business courses but rather studied and spoke with others students I get the feeling that entrepreneurship is more like art or black magic than anything else and it is also weird that almost all business students don’t want to create their own company. The more you study business the less you want to create your own business. Maybe one reason for that is the really hard beginning, high risks to fail and usually big investments so in many cases you will sell your whole life for your own business and if you fail hard you will lose everything. But there is also chance for success so if you rock and you rock hard I think that it will be really nice especially if your company or invention can help people around the planet and make this a better place for us.
We will see if this course can give us right keys and tools for creating profitable business which I really hope. So it is now the teacher’s turn to convince us. But still I think the most important parts for success are:
- good idea,
- confidence in your own business,
- vision and
- great team!
Lastly there is a picture bellow which tells what people think about entrepreneurs and I think the last picture tells the true story what being entrepreneur really will be. I really hope that society or friends are right at least this time!