Building a company is a marathon and not a sprint, when it seems as if the company is not growing quickly enough, you need to empower a team to make it happen.
The paradox of teaching entrepreneurship is that a formula for innovation cannot exist; since every innovation is new and unique therefore no single authority can prescribe in concrete terms how to be more innovative. However, the single most powerful pattern in successful people is that they usually find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about basic business principles.
A startup is the largest group of people you can convince of a plan to build a different future. A company’s most important strength is introducing a new way of thinking, even more important than being nimble, small size affords space to think.
It is better to risk boldness than triviality, since a bad plan is better than no plan at all. Competitive markets destroy profits and margins. Sales matter just as much as the product. In order to build the future you need to challenge the dogmas that shape your view of the past. It means that you need to rethink what is and what is not true and determine how this shapes how we see the world today.
Inside a startup people become obsessed with their competitors for career advancement. Then the startups themselves become obsessed with their competitors in the marketplace. Amid all the human drama, people lose sight of what matters the most and focus on what their rivals do, instead. Intercompany rivalry causes us to overemphasize old opportunities and copy what has worked in the past.
Timing is an essential element in where you are and where you can be, just like Heraclitus once said that you can only step into the same river once, you need to understand that every moment in business happens only once.
First mover advantage is a tactic, not an end goal. What really matters for a startup is generating cash flows in the future, so being the first mover doesn’t do you any good if someone else comes along and unseats you. It’s probably much better to be the last mover, that is, to make the last great development in a specific market and enjoy years or even decades of recurring profits.
People always say that a startup is like a roller coaster ride, the truth is there are more downs than ups in this ride, but these few ups will make you happier than you can put into words.
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Christos Lytras – Managing Partner