Eight things we learnt at a Startup School

2017-06-21T20:44:06+05:00 Khabeer Ul Tanwir

Imagine that a student has just graduated from a top ranked university and his next target is to secure a job at a big multinational that offers a high paying, possibly even six figure salary along with other perks. This sound great but the truth is that today no job is safe.

Amidst all the job security worries a startup gives a freedom to work on your own terms. Running a startup, however, is not that easy as it requires dedication and lots of hard work

After attending a recently concluded startup school organized by MIT Enterprise Forum, I learnt things which are perhaps more important if an entrepreneur wants to make sure that his startup sustains in the longer run.

Teamwork

Renowned Tech entrepreneur Steve Jobs once said, “My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.”

Having a good team means that the workload is distributed and the strengths of individuals are highlighted and weaknesses are minimized, which therefore produces a quality output.

The Opportunity Cost of Time

Everyone knows that time is extremely important in practical life but entrepreneurs also realize the importance of the “opportunity cost of time.”

In other words, it is important to consider what one can do with his time. As one of the trainer pointed out that a startup should not spend too much time on a single task but should constantly try to improve by utilizing time in a more effective way.

Get feedback and improve

Listening to your customers is the only way towards guaranteeing a quality product or service that a customer actually wants to avail. For this purpose, customer feedback should be extensively used throughout the product development process and this can ensure that the end product is something that solves a problem or fulfils the needs.

Have a Plan B

A young startup needs to take some risks to achieve success and having an alternate option is a great mechanism to reduce risks.

This can be done by taking proactive steps like for example, if you have an employee who suddenly quits without providing notice, it is likely that the output will suffer.

However, a suitable risk management plan will provide for two employees always on each job. Similar kinds of proactive steps can be taken for all risks like cost cutting methods in case investment is not secured, better time management in case strict deadlines are to be met.

Importance of models and frameworks

During the session of Business Model Canvas, the trainer emphasized on the importance of drawing business models and frameworks which can help identify all possible resources, their risks and their gains.

Business models also help organizations realize the economic value of their product, services, business and/or technology. Once the proper model is developed, it is easier to understand that the ways in which the company can generate revenue and make a profit.

Value of having a sincere mentor

A mentor is an individual who actively and willingly passes his knowledge onto another person. Businesses are increasingly embracing this practice as a professional development tool. With sincere mentors, organizations are achieving improvements in efficiency, productivity and recruiting and a good mentor also makes people feel valued.

Never Assume

This is the world of information where tons of information can be retrieved with a click of a button but entrepreneurs need to make sure that the retrieved information is based on facts and should never assume - rather they should constantly study to make sure that their business decisions are pin point.

Time management and setting priorities

Time management is essential to make sure that a startup operates efficiently. This can be easily done by setting priorities. Three to four hours of sleep and multitasking on any given day to get your work finish before the deadline – all such measures can help manage time. This can also help in the overall life as if one faces a real life problem, he would have the confidence to solve it.

To cut the long story short, this six-week long startup school has been a great experience where not only I learnt the required skills and tools that would help me become a better entrepreneur but it has also connected me with like-minded young entrepreneurs who are facing similar entrepreneurial issues but despite of that, all of them have one similar objective that is to bring a positive change in the society.

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