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StartUpLand Book from an idea into a Global Business

 StartUpLand Book from an idea into a Global Business


Let's say you had a great idea that could be a startup, but you failed in the process of converting it into a company. Although it is clear that the field is open for innovation, the competition is fierce. In the world of startups, everyone is striving with all the means at their disposal to turn their innovative ideas into reality.

How can you avoid failure and loss in front of this massive crowd and launch your startup?

You can start by taking advice from the heavyweights and niche in your industry.

In this book, the founder of Zendesk Tech Support Services talks about his experience building a successful company. He will review the state of hesitation in trying different ideas and moving to another country to follow the company's progress.

Your first company may not be the last

When Christopher Columbus returned from his voyage to discover the American continent, some of the sailors who were with him said that anyone could discover the new continent, all he had to do was sail west. Columbus wanted to prove his words wrong by placing a hard-boiled egg on a table in front of the crowd and challenging the pretender to get him to stand upright. He tried a lot and failed, and here Columbus gently broke the shell until it created a flat surface and the egg stood on it vertically.

The idea Columbus wanted to communicate is that it's easy to do something that you know how to do, but when you don't know you need to take a risk. And startups follow the same principle.

Establishing a startup requires using an entrepreneurial mindset to try new things. The author worked on several startup projects before launching Zendesk that allow companies to provide technical support services to their customers.

In the beginning, he established a company specialized in 3D designs based on 2D designs and using specialized software. He was the only employee in his company to receive customers' requests, make designs, and send them to them.

The second project he went into was a website builder and failed when the dotcom bubble burst in 2001.

When you start a startup, you realize that sometimes the best idea isn't necessarily the most interesting.

In the early days of Zendesk, few people had confidence in the company and its idea of ​​providing technical support service to customers. Even a key member of the company initially thought its idea was boring and naive.

Zendesk is an example of a large number of startups whose idea seems uninteresting at first, but can be improved and more attractive if implemented correctly.

Look at Dropbox, file sharing services are not something interesting, but Dropbox has made the service very easy and added social interaction elements to it, making it unique and people want to use it.

Choose your investor wisely

Not all investors are good investors and unfortunately for startups, there are often no options to choose from to get their initial investment. When you set up a new company and seek financing, you will meet a lot of investors who only care about themselves. The best thing you can do in the beginning is to avoid all investment offers and wait a while.

The author of the book went through a similar situation and the same problem when he founded Zendesk, where the angel investor who took care of the project at its inception was asking for a lot of details, information and things about the company. It was then that the author realized that this was a tactic to put high psychological pressure on the staff. The investor knew that the company was in desperate need of money and was trying to negotiate for a greater power and stake by delaying the investment decision and asking for more documents and paperwork.

Where should you look to invest? Sometimes friends, relatives, and family are the best investors in the beginning. When Zendesk started running out of money, the founder asked friends, family, and relatives to invest in his business and so word spread that one of them invested $ 30,000.

Asking for investment from friends and family is not easy, and the author advises that you do not raise your expectations and that you should refrain from giving an influence to the investor and even ready to cause many disappointments and perhaps lose some friends.

But even if you raise a sufficient amount of financing, do not turn down investment requests from good investors. After the founder of Zendesk obtained sufficient funding, one of the angel investors contacted him and before his investment, which made the company raise its ambitions and obtain a financial partner who also has experience.

A tight-knit team

When you play in a soccer match, which one is better, the one who shares the ball with everyone and gets them to participate in goal making, or the star player who scores all the goals alone? First course.

This applies to startups as well. A person with high team building skills succeeds in making successful entrepreneurs, but it is not easy for a business team to stay on track always.

In the early days of Zendesk, the three founders had a hard time focusing on the project as they were not paid for their work. And it took a high commitment from the founders to continue their work instead of moving to another work that generates income for them.

The author of the book kept the team together in its early days by paying each founder a small salary even though the company was not yet making any profits or even income. The author realized that keeping the team together was a vital and more important component of division and division due to poor funding.

But it can be difficult for team members to agree to this. Zendesk ran into some problems when the founders had to raise more financing and sell shares in the company. This means that the founding members will have a small share of the shares or power in the board of directors, it is a bitter reality that must be faced. Founders will find themselves in a situation where directors can separate and fire them from the company if they want to.

America is the best place for startups

Non-Americans are annoyed by some American sayings such as "Imagine it until you achieve it" or "The winner never gives up" and other optimistic expressions that may not be realistic at first sight. You cannot succeed in your startup unless you have confidence in taking risks.

All the companies whose business is connected to the Internet - even the Internet itself - started in the United States of America. In the early 1990s there was one company to provide Internet services in Denmark and its prices were exorbitant even though it offered slow dial-up speeds, while some American cities such as San Francisco had better internet and enthusiasm around since that time as people used the network to communicate, advertise and even request Food long before email reaches Europeans.

Thus it was evident that the best place for the Zendesk team to look for the first investor was the United States because the startup scene was so fresh.

The author attended the TechCruch summer event in San Francisco after the company's launch, and nearly all of the attendees had heard of it or had already used its services and were working on their own projects. The author felt more familiarity as at home in that community than in entrepreneurship forums in his native Denmark.

Zendesk founders were not surprised when their first investment arrived that the investor asked to move to the United States, specifically to Boston, the location of the investing company, and the author worked to convince the team to move and travel.

The impact of the startup on the family

Entrepreneurs' lives revolve around their companies, they may work up to 12 hours a day, and in the spare hours they keep their minds busy thinking about their company. This creates several challenges for families of entrepreneurs.

It's hard to put yourself under financial risk when you have a family. The author of the book suffered from this situation when he spent a large portion of the amount he saved for their retirement on building his company. He also requested a $ 50,000 loan that he was personally responsible for. At one point, he was only two weeks off from bankruptcy if he did not get more money.

The author of the book did not want to share with his wife what was happening with him so that she would not fall under psychological pressure while going through problems, so he did not explain everything to her in detail.

The reason for moving from Denmark to Boston was new family pressure, especially when they arrived in the United States in the summer and had problems with the weather differences, and after a period of staying in Boston they moved to San Francisco when the company got six million dollars in funding.

Flexibility in employment

If you have a pile of dozens of resumes all written in the same classic way, then you will know that choosing the right employee is difficult. Interviews even make it worse when candidates get confused and talk tense and little or quickly.

Now imagine that you will go through all of this process in a foreign country. This is what happened with Zendesk when its founder moved to Boston. The author learned many important lessons through cultural differences.

The founder noticed that Danes differ from Americans when talking about themselves in job interviews. Scandinavian countries do not tend to consider themselves better than others, while Americans exaggerate their self-confidence and superiority over others. So the company mistakenly thought all of the applicants were great because they presented themselves that way.

Soon the founder of the company realized that a new recruitment strategy had to be followed. For example, the head of the human resources department, who previously worked as a soldier, would take the candidate employee on a short hike and he would speed up the pace and notice how the candidate would be able to catch up with him, and he used to enter a cafe and noticed his handling of the bill and dealing with complaints. Zendesk did not ask candidates to state their scientific background, but rather their travel experiences and how they dealt with difficult life situations that they faced.

Be prepared to make mistakes

Starting a startup is like jumping off a diving board from a height of ten meters. You might dip right on your head, or your stomach might hit the water and feel excruciatingly painful. Certainly, it takes several tries before you fully know how to dive properly.

When I started Zendesk, the founder made several mistakes while seeking funding. When the company was still operating from Denmark, he decided to travel to the United States to meet with partners and investors. But the timing was bad, as the 2008 global financial crisis had hit the country, mortgage loans could no longer be granted, and many large banks collapsed and bankrupted, so risk investment companies hesitated a lot before granting financing to any company, and indeed no one wanted to invest in Zendesk.

Another mistake the founder made was the omission of important details during the early years of the company's life. For example, the company hired a former marketing officer at Google, and when she arrived for her first day at the company, she did not bring her computer with her because she assumed that the company would provide her with a device. She then left the company home to get her device and back, causing a bad image and impression from day one.

One of the worst mistakes that can be made is that which affects customers. The company was planning to raise its prices, but was shocked when its customers abandoned it, and many of them published negative comments about the company and criticized it and tried to affect its reputation.

The mistake was that the company considered its relationship with its customers secured, so it informed them of the price increase, but it did not expect customers to alienate them.

This was the summary of the book, Start Up Land.