1. Grow at the Right Pace.
It can be easy to think big right away, particularly if you have raised funds. After all, there is an expectation that comes with investor dollars and pressure to act on big ideas. But staying small for a while lets you figure out your processes, product and infrastructure, setting you up for effective growth.
2. Build Something People Want.
This may seem obvious, but knowing your market is a key to success. Joe Rideout, current president of Perpetua offers insights from his experience working on Google+.
“One of the big predictors of company success is team. Google+ had an incredible team. Another predictor is product. Google+ was a beautiful product with sophisticated technology and an immersive, high-resolution experience. The third predictor, which is the most important, is market. This is where we fell short. People already had Facebook and didn’t need another version of it.”
While Google + was a great product, people didn’t want it — and it therefore failed.
3. Innovate with All Users in Mind.
Innovation should always have an eye on inclusion. When companies push the envelope on innovation, great ideas and products can come to life. While innovating, however, it’s important to keep in mind all your users. As technology becomes more advanced, it also tends to get more complicated for older generations — even TV remotes and calculators have features that aren’t necessarily intuitive for seniors.
4. Plan for a Zebra, Not a Unicorn.
Dreaming of building a unicorn (i.e., a company with a value of over $1 billion)? While it’s great to dream big, the reality is that a very small percentage of companies end up as an Airbnb or Uber. Zebras, on the other hand, which typically generate $5 – 50 million in revenue, may represent a more realistic goal. What’s more, Zebras help each other, support each other, and represent a plurality of winners, rather than single predatory power. Zebras are also real — unicorns are not.
5. Listening Is the Secret to Negotiating.
In successful negotiations, it’s not winner take all. It’s important to listen intently to the needs of the other side to get a full picture of what’s going on. Understanding what the other side’s motivations are helps you communicate what you need and what you want.
6. To Raise Money, Stand Out.
Looking to raise funds for your business? This is where you don’t want to blend in, or go through the same motions as everyone else. It’s important to be an outlier, as investors are looking for something bold, new and different.
7. Take Advice with a Grain of Salt.
When you’re starting out — or exploring a new level of growth — you may get mentorship overload. If you take in all the advice that’s coming your way, you might discover that a lot of it is conflicting. The best move is to review the advice coming in, evaluate it, and identify what’s best for your company.
This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.