A startup is a lot of work, and the first person to admit that is Docstoc’s CEO and co-founder, Jason Nazar. Through his dedication and perseverance, he created a multi-million dollar company from the ground up and lives to tell about it.
Too often we meet and hear of people who either have the means themselves or know people who do to make their dreams a reality. Jason’s experience in contrast is exactly the kind of thing we like to hear – someone who came from humble beginnings who made it big through hard work.
During his event he calls “Startups Uncensored,” Jason presented ten “strategies for startup success” that he has used to create and strengthen Docstoc’s mission. Each of these ten activities will help you go from conceptualizing an idea to actually implementing and profiting from it. Here are his top-line points.
1. Ideation: “The entrepreneurs’ dilemma”
Most people when developing an idea are excited and passionate about its potential, often overlooking the necessity, need, and desire for the product or service. Ego is sometimes a factor, as is a desire to not let go of something that we feel is inherently great.
During the regular course of starting a company, good ideas fail regularly and others have to pivot their business models to achieve success. The decision of holding tight to an idea versus pivoting is what Jason refers to as the “entrepreneurs’ dilemma.” The answer he says is simple – stay attached to the problem you want to solve and stay focused on solutions. If what you’re currently doing doesn’t address the need as much as an alternate model, it may be appropriate to shift focus.
2. Pitching Investors
Relationships with investors are obviously some of the most important relationships to have as entrepreneurs. These are the people who are going to help you get to the next level and grow your business. They may also eventually own a stake in your firm so it pays to get the right people and keep them happy. Jason had specific on the right way to pitch investors, focusing more on the personal aspect of it rather than the financial aspect.
Firstly, he recommends selling yourself over your product or service. People want to meet people – not robots who drone on endlessly about their companies and ambitions. Selling yourself and your background is an art form that will get people interested in you without coming off as much as the “salesman” type.
The second step in closing investors on your great idea is having a product to show them. Let’s face it, we are a visual society in a world where technology has made it easy to build and present things, so having a visual representation of your idea is key. Jason also notes that the products should speak for themselves rather than requiring a detailed explanation to follow along.
Lastly, being able to show significant progress and passion towards your idea is likely to push an investor over the fence. When all else is in place, what investors really want to see is that you have the heart and drive to make your ideas happen.
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