May be it was the moment when you felt you had a great idea or it was when you hated your manager - you made this search under the word “entrepreneur”. It’s surprising to see the amount of help in the form of information available for entrepreneurs – articles, blogs, websites, books, coaches and even courses. But it’s that last chapter I would like to pull your attention to. This is the first, of a series of pocket sized articles, which concentrates on what an entrepreneur should not do.
Birds of a feather – that’s what you hire
It’s so obnoxiously true that we are drawn into the company of like-minded people. We become buddies and form group. All that is fine until it’s not business and does not include hiring. One of the big mistakes that entrepreneurs do is to hire their own image. You might share similar interests towards the success of the venture, but that should be it. You and your hire, who thinks like you, might have one direction, but that ensures missing out on all other directions. If you are this really wide-eyed experienced visionary who can see 180 degrees wide, your like-minded buddy would also be able to see the same. And together, the great team that you are, are totally blind to the remaining 180, which complete the picture. When you look for someone to fill in a position, look for someone who is a good fit for ‘that position’ and not necessarily your mindset. This will help you to keep your eyes peeled and even look at things you don’t want to see.
Remember - The only reason why you might want to hire your own image is to replace yourself.
It’s how you sell and not what you sell
If you are not the guy who sells little chips of your wooden furniture as the medicine for impotency, and then vanishes into thin air, then marketing is not your basic concern. The primary concern is always your product and the promise it makes to your customer. Phil Libin (Evernote’s Papa) opines that, the best products are made out of personal needs. So if you are going to use your product first hand, that’s a qualifier. Steve Jobs agrees to this, so does Michael Dell and so does Bill Gates. Another important characteristic of a great product is, that’s it’s not easy to mimic. When you make an easy item, by the time you get it patented (i.e almost 5 years), you will find someone else launching version C42 of the same, also, which comes with a free membership to a nearby Country Club. Hence, usefulness and uniqueness of the product are of greater importance than any. And if you are not good at marketing, you can always hire someone else for that. After all, a great product sells itself. As against a bad product which brings down the credibility on your future innovations.
Remember – a great market can be worked on in a day but not a great product.
Those are just two of the many mistakes. As silly as they may sound they are as usual as the taxes on your food bill – you don’t hope for them, but you end up paying for them.