This article was written by Oracle for Startups ambassador Dr. Paul Campbell.
In 1686, Edward Lloyd opened Lloyd's Coffee House in the heart of London. This historic coffee shop was more than the best place in the city to get a cup of coffee, it was a place where entrepreneurs and business leaders converged. Lloyd's was a repository of industry news and relevant information. It was a place to share and build on innovative ideas with likeminded professionals. In fact, it was this entrepreneurial environment that birthed the modern-day insurance industry.
So, what made Lloyd's Coffee House so unique that it become a hotbed of innovation? Was there something special about the coffee?
What history has shown us is that Lloyd intentionally created a platform for collaboration - one which fostered community, leveraged the collective genius of the many, and dared to dream the impossible. In other words, this was a mini Silicon Valley before there was a Silicon Valley.
Let's unpack three ways that Oracle for Startups can help modern founders recreate the Lloyd's experience.
Join A Community of Collaborators
Have you ever met a self-made millionaire who was truly self-made? I haven’t. Nor have I met anyone who was truly a “lone innovator.” Why do so many founders feel the need to assume the persona of a rugged individualist?
Perhaps it is because when we think about many of the world-renowned startups, we can only bring to mind their larger-than-life, charismatic leaders. Ask them to share their secrets to achievement, however, and they will quickly dismiss the myth of rugged individualism, inevitably listing a group of contributors to whom they say they owe their success. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the self-made professional who carries the business from startup to IPO, rather it is a group of contributors with a dissatisfaction with the status quo and a shared vision of what the world could be.
Contributors could be part of the co-founding team or your company’s board of advisors, or they may come in the form of local startup communities. By joining Oracle for Startups, founders leverage the experience, skills, and talents of experienced mentors and ambassadors who can help navigate Oracle and the wider market. These talented individuals help founders engage with Oracle’s technology and ecosystem to build scalable, enterprise-ready applications.
Additionally, there are opportunities to engage with and learn from other founders in the program—especially during the many Oracle and third-party events that bring startups in the program together.
Beta Test in World-Class Style
As a founder, many of the ideas you create through mashups - combining various ideas, disciplines, and previous innovations to come up with new game-changing products and services - may be considered contrarian. As such, it is extremely beneficial to have a platform that can help refine your ideas until product/market fit becomes more obvious for your minimum viable product (MVP).
Consider this: fifteen years ago if I had told you that one day you and your family would be jumping in a stranger’s car at the airport, and this stranger would then drop you off to stay at another stranger’s house for your family vacation, you would have thought I had lost my natural mind.
In Oracle’s startup program, founders can flush out contrarian ideas like those brought to market by Uber and Airbnb, by testing, learning and iterating on Oracle’s world-class cloud infrastructure and solutions. In addition to the program’s free credits and 70% discount, founders get access to the free cloud tier that provides an environment for users to build and work at no cost—forever. That allows startups and developers to work on applications in development before they pay to run them in production.
After coming up with contrarian ideas, the next hardest thing to do as a founder is achieving mass adoption of your product. As founders gain further qualification through deeper engagement within our program with opportunities such as presenting at events (i.e. Oracle Open World), they can Blitzscal their startups to mass adoption through the network effect by graphing into Oracle’s global community of users, customers, and partners. Additionally, startups benefit from marketing expertise and exposure such as blogs, podcasts, social media and engagement interactions with global media and analysts.
Together, these opportunities give startups a business boost and network effect they simply can’t get on their own.
Don’t Go It Alone
Stepping out on a crazy new adventure to create a startup doesn’t mean you need to do it alone. Collaboration creates abundance while the lone individualist only knows scarcity. The bottom line is that the greatest poverty that one can experience is the poverty of relationship.
Join Oracle for Startups to receive free Oracle Cloud credits plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.