It's a very common topic of conversation when I meet people in social or professional gatherings. They ask me, “How do I start a startup?” or “Give me some cracking idea to start a startup.” The chatter about startups is ubiquitous.
Having been part of Oracle for Startups program, I have been closely associated with startups of all hues and this is what I have found during my journey.
Wait…What Exactly Is A Startup?
A startup is not just a euphemism for regular business at a small scale. If that was the case it would have been called small scale enterprise and not a startup.
A startup by definition should either solve a problem, figure out something new and innovative or disrupt existing business by changing the paradigm of the business process. Startups need to be extremely flexible and should be able to hit the ground fast, fail quickly, learn from these failures and iterate.
It Wasn’t Raining When Noah Built The Ark
Always plan ahead. Any startup should have a clear-cut roadmap and business plan for marketing strategy, customer acquisition and revenue stream. The plan will change, but it must exist. Funding and acquisition by a big market player is the by-product of being a successful startup.
The startup might not look feasible at first, but as long as it solves a real or perceived problem, it will gain traction. Honestly, no one knows which startup is going to be a unicorn. A few good examples would be AirBnB, Flipkart, Paypal, WeWork or even Motorola. After all, when Motorola was launching mobile phones, no one thought that cell phones would be as ubiquitous as they have become.
Jitesh Nagaria, founder of dolooptech, spent 6 months planning each and every function of his startup while still working his 9 to 5. Nagaria researched and compiled information on the clinical trial space, understood the challenges and estimated initial expenses, office space and personnel needs, and AI capabilities. I’m glad to say that dolooptech joined Oracle for Startups in early days and is now experiencing success.
Solutions For Pain
The best startups I have worked with have found a pain point in a market and built a solution for it. The number of people or enterprises facing the problem will determine your initial market size. As the saying goes, people gladly pay for pain killers, but not for vitamins.
Identify The Problem, Explain The Solution
If a founder cannot explain the problem they solve and how they solve it in 2-3 minutes, then the objectives of the startup are not clear enough. To start a startup, one should first identify a problem which can be described in two quick sentences. Slack, which was founded in 2013 and is now valued at over USD 19 billion, had a very simple message when explaining their business as “a collaboration hub where you and your team can work together to get things done.” If you dive deep, Slack is much more than just a collaboration tool, but the initial messaging is clear and powerful.
Uber, meanwhile, completely changed the game on how taxis could be booked. AirBnb took the idea of hospitality and moved it from the traditional hotel right into your homes.
All of these had a business model which could be explained in a single bullet point on a pitch deck without any confusing jargon.
Tune Into Tech
An entrepreneur’s key ally is technology. Technology can help a startup scale fast and give a 360-degree view of how the business is being run, which helps the startup to continually innovate with data-driven decision making.
Uber, by definition, is a logistics company, but technology has shaped it into a huge company with a huge valuation. The right use of technology is a force multiplier which increases productivity, decreases the cost of capital expenses and opens uncharted territory.
Oracle for Startups enables startups worldwide with technology, mentorship and opportunities to scale their business. Oracle PaaS solutions help build up quick solutions without having to reinvent the wheel.
Lastly, as a wise man once said, "Ideas are dime a dozen". It is the tenacity, execution and vision that takes a startup from also-ran to the stuff of legends.
Discover how your startup can leverage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and enterprise expertise through Oracle for Startups. Free cloud is just the beginning.