While the world is a ruthless place, none is as unforgiving as the technology industry. As the owner of a startup, you might already know the gloomy chances of success and that, according to some analysts, about ninety percent of them are destined to fail. You’ll be celebrated as a veteran by just managing to survive on the market for about five years – leaving your earliest competition behind in the dust a long time ago.
It’s nice with a few words of encouragement, though, to boost the morale and slightly increase the chances of staying afloat for a couple of years. Here is what the experts have to say – and how they managed to work their way to success against all the odds.
Practice your coding skills – as well as writing
Mike Borozdin, the senior director of engineering at DocuSign and former Microsoft-employee, has a few clear words of wisdom to those working with software; become a better communicator. Many skilled workers have developed genius ideas only to see someone else take credit for them as their initial formulation was clumsy and unclear.
Software experts are great at coding and should, of course, continue to develop their knowledge – yet, even the brightest heads in tech seem to forget how vital it is to express themselves clearly. Work on writing, become a better communicator and practice public speaking.
It will make your chances of success a lot higher when you need to explain your ideas to someone – and it will increase the likelihood of receiving due credit for what you come up with. In a way it’s self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised over how tech startups completely neglect their communication skills.
Understand the market
When everything else is unpredictable, the one thing that is constant with the market is change. If you don’t invest a necessary amount of time and energy into understanding what the market looks like and what it might look like tomorrow, you’re destined to tumble downhill with the other ninety percent.
The most obvious way to go about with this is to add some weight to your education and get a master of engineering management. An education like this can help you out with spotting the golden opportunities for taking advantage of an ever-changing market, analyze its behavior, and make strategic decisions in order to strengthen your company.
Managing a successful tech startup is about more than writing Java and Objective C; it’s about business management, marketing, and strategic planning.
Remember to network
Just like incredibly skilled coders forget about maintaining their writing skills, many new business owners seem to leave their days of networking behind. The industry is booming and full of people like you, looking to make their dream a reality and further their skills.
Meet them, befriend them, take advantage of their knowledge – and expect to be taken advantage of in return. It’s about scratching each other’s backs and understanding that you don’t know everything; someone else will know a lot more than you in a specific area, and you need an extensive network in order to succeed as a startup.
Keep this in mind throughout your journey, and you might increase your chances of success enough to make it over the five-year hump.