Launching a start-up is hard work – very hard work. It is not for the faint of heart. From dealing with funding issues to creating a proof of concept to getting customers, the tasks at hand are daunting. The constant sense of insecurity and consistent lack of resources only adds to the challenge.
But being a start-up has a certain freedom to it – freedom to experiment, do things differently, and set new standards. This can represent a tremendous opportunity to create valuable products and services that customers will purchase. To tap into this opportunity, it is all in the approach.
Take Advantage of the Blank Slate
One of the things I love about start-ups is that you can start from a blank slate. Rather than looking at what has been done before and improve it, you can start with exploratory questions. What could be possible? Irrespective of current limitations and products, what would truly make sense? What would people love?
By having no predecessor, creativity can be fostered. Ironically, any company can theoretically foster creativity, yet it often does not happen. The company culture of larger established corporations thrives on processes and hierarchies, and the companies generally slow to change.
We recently had an experience where we were told that “large companies want to deal with large companies”. It is true, especially from a risk standpoint. So turn your start-up into an advantage where the large corporates struggle – creativity, innovation and adaptability.
People are Hungry for Change
Given the challenges the world now faces, people are open to change. The status quo no longer works. The effervescent entrepreneurial spirit and innovative products of start-ups can represent that change.
If we look over time, entrepreneurs and their companies have played a major role in shaping the world. Just look at Henry Ford and Steve Jobs. They have ushered in game-changing products that accompanied new eras. They show us that when you follow your gut and your belief in how things could be, you can produce something extraordinary.
Walking our Talk
Starting on Monday, my company REfficient will be putting our creative and innovative energy into overdrive. Firstly, we are launching a completely new look and feel to REfficient.com. We are thrilled with the changes and believe it represents the future we are living into.
We are also launching an initiative that will push boundaries in terms of education and marketing. While the details will be revealed on Monday in the lead up to Earth Day, we have certainly never done anything quite like this before. It is, what we might say, REdiculous.
Indeed, the best part about being a start-up is the freedom to be creative, different and authentic. And as Albert Einstein put it, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So don’t try to be a corporate. Be yourself. Be authentic.