Your Next Big Idea

Your Next Big Idea

Design | Posted by YouInc.com - February 7, 2014 at 12:00 am
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Launching a new business can be daunting — but securing a strategic technology partner is a smart way to even the odds

Do you have an amazing business idea you’re planning to turn into a reality in 2014? The harsh reality of the situation is that however confident you are, there’s a good chance you’re going to fail. 44 percent of new businesses are dead within three years, rising to 50 percent by year four.

The reasons startups die, says StatisticBrain, can be complicated, but the biggest factor for failure is founder incompetency. This usually relates to issues such as nonpayment of taxes, insufficient pricing knowledge or lack of planning. Luckily, these pitfalls are easily avoided by the seasoned entrepreneur. There’s a reason the average age of successful entrepreneurs is 40.

Speed is a critical factor in today’s market – you need to find and build a high-quality team and get your product to market fast. For many young startups who are racing to raise capital, develop their product, and scout for talent all at the same time, the demands of trying to do it all are simply too high.

When you’re passionate about an idea, it’s tempting to try and do everything yourself.

Going into your second or even your third startup you’re likely to already have an established reputation within your investor network, or the capital to self-fund your business in the early stages. In this case, working with a strategic technology partner to build and launch your digital product can be a powerful alternative to adopting an aggressive hiring strategy in the early stages.

When you’re passionate about an idea, it’s tempting to try and do everything yourself. But it can actually be more cost-efficient to work with partners who know how to innovate and build digital products because they can do this immediately, follow a strong existing process, and produce high-quality outcomes.

A strategic technology partner supports you whilst you validate your product idea, find product-market fit and get traction. Support can include product strategy, design or development as well as ongoing support and refinement once your product hits the market.

The goal is to learn from them, get to market fast and then shift your focus to building out these capabilities within your own team. Joining forces with a strategic technology partner will allow you to establish and implement design and development processes for your business, making it easier to get new hires up to speed quickly and keep things moving forward at the right pace.

Finding the right technology partner is no different than finding your employees and/or co-founders. You need a strong connection and there needs to be a shared vision and belief in what you’re building. One way to guarantee this is to see if they are open to taking some equity to ensure the alignment between all parties is strong.

Look for partners who are entrepreneurs in their own right who understand that your end goal is to learn from them and grow your own team. There must be a mutual understanding that everyone is working towards the same goal – to help build a self-sustaining business in whatever form that needs to take.

Tags: design, development, idea, new business, startup, strategic technology partner, profiles

Chris Eben
Chris Eben is an investor, startup mentor and Startup Weekend organizer. He is a Partner at The Working Group, where he invests in and incubates startups and leads a growing team that crafts powerful Internet applications for web, mobile and tablet. Follow him through Twitter @ceben
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