The first time you get a project off the ground and up in the air, you feel like you’ve been blessed from above. The inspiration, the idea, the execution was all yours.
The fact that it seems to be working is enough to make you think that you’re special. As some writers claim, they have a fountain inside them that they just can’t explain from where all their writing just comes out like an unstoppable force. But any truthful writer will tell you that it is a struggle. In the same way, don’t make the mistake of the thinking that you are the chosen one to whom the God of Success in Start-Ups, speaks exclusively.
When you create a product, the most important question is whether it answers a consumer need. Whether you think it does is not the point because of course you would. You would believe everything you had to, to get your project running. The problem is that many first-time start-up founders who think they have divine blessing forget to always keep the consumer’s needs in mind. They assume that their project does and then spend incredible amounts and funding on marketing and branding, when they should be focusing on other aspects.
Another problem with thinking you have divine blessing is that you assume your product is flawless. You’ve thought out the whole process. You’ve got funding. You seem to be doing okay. What could be wrong? The issue here is that there is always a possibility of flaws because we’re all human and the market and consumer needs are constantly changing. You must be prepared for spot fixing and thinking on your feet. If you expect a problem, then you are prepared for it. If you think no problems are possible, you will waste valuable time on being surprised. It’s like walking on a dark Indian road, looking carefully for random holes in the pavement. When you see the hole, you can begin fixing it immediately. If you trusted the pavement and fell into a hole, it would take you time to actually get out of the hole before you fixed it. You would never trust an Indian pavement in the dark, why would you trust an ever-changing market and fickle consumers in the light?
When you first create a product, you are obviously determined that it should be perfect. You spend a lot of time adding luxurious, often unnecessary features to your setup. You are looking for perfection and a smooth experience after all. As the chosen one, you obviously know what you’re doing, even if you’re wasting time and money. The features will serve you well in the future is what you tell yourself and obviously, there is no easier person to convince than yourself of your own ideas and the lack of flaws thereof. Instead, it makes more sense to add features based on need. Going back to the consumer need that was talked about. Adding features based on enough need is way more practical and sensible rather than adding a myriad of unnecessary fanciful features that only you will use.
Another common mistake that comes of believing that you’re the chosen one is that your idea will last forever without you doing too much about it. Unless a company stays with the times, it never happens. We all know examples of large companies who were pioneers in their field who have now disappeared off the map. You may create the perfect product for the perfect market at the perfect time. But we all know that the times and the market is constantly changing. Your perfect product is soon forgotten as the world moves on with new technology and new ideas.
The idea here is to remind you that your ideas are not perfect. None of ours are. Pretending that your idea is, is not going to help anyone. Making decisions for your company with that misconception is even worse. Accepting that your company and your products could have flaws will help you grow like nothing else. It will prepare you for hurdles in your way and will help you rise after you fall. You won’t lie there wondering how God let down the chosen one, instead you’ll be dusting yourself off and looking for the next challenge.
Rajh is a serial entrepreneur with ventures in knowledge process outsourcing, hospitality, retail, IT and e-commerce. He has over 25 years of corporate experience and expertise in key roles of leadership, strategy, planning & management. Rajh is especially skilled at developing new profit centers within scheduled timelines and costs while ensuring operational efficiencies through long-term strategic planning. His core expertise includes delivering customized and cost-effective solutions to meet the operational and financial goals of the organization and its stakeholders. Rajh holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai.