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6 delusional ideas about the startup world



Misconception #1: A successful startup is possible only with a huge financial investment.


Nothing is farther from the truth than this fallacy. While a financial investment can give a boost in terms of marketing or production for startups, it is not the only way one can assure success. In our digitally connected era, every resource, educational or otherwise has become accessible and if used wisely with meticulous planning and creative ideas, a startup can carve its own niche and become successful.


Misconception #2: A startup will succeed only if they are centered around breakthrough startup ideas.


This fear puts off many entrepreneurs who think the product, service or solution they have conceived is just commonplace.


Six Degrees, the first social media came in 1997, Blogger came in 1999, Friendster in 2002, Myspace in 2003, and then Facebook in 2004. Now why did Facebook become such a hit when it was not the first in its genre? That is because, Mark Zuckerberg did not offer this as a way for people to experience what he had created. Instead, he created a solution to a gap that people felt. He saw people wanted ways to connect with others easily with less effort, time and money. He created facebook to address that need.


At that time what Myspace did was it started catering to a niche audience, it depended on professional management to determine what the future of business was whereas the brilliance with facebook was it allowed itself to be flexible enough to go wherever the market wanted. Friendster wasn’t able to quickly scale up their architecture and hardware. It also did not allow sharing of information whereas facebook provided a simple interface a free mode of communication to connect with friends and lost acquaintances.


Well Blogger and Six degrees where ideas simply ahead of its time, blogger was an automated weblog publishing tool. and sixdegrees was a social networking site with a lot of limitations on the internet connectivity.


Which is why facebook succeeded where all these startups, couldn’t in spite of attempting something that wasn’t really different from other social media platforms.


Misconception # 3: Startups sell their products cheap.


If you are able to articulate clearly to your niche market how your product or service is the answer they have been looking for, there is no reason why they would not pay the price you are asking.


When Uber was launched, there was absolute clarity about who will be the customers: people looking for comfortable hassle-free transport from anywhere to anywhere. Not people who perceived their car as their status symbol. Not people who felt that what they owned is what they would use and what they use would be only what they owned. Not those who had many options such that a hassle-free ride is what they were used to and felt they were entitled to. So this was manna to an ordinary professional looking to travel in comfort without much sweat and toil, parking problem or huge investment.


Misconception #4: You will sell only if your offer is unique or exemplary


A pout in the dark will not sell the best lipstick. The best music album released amidst the cacophony of subway traffic will not get listeners. The most fragrant flowers will not turn heads if the flower cart is on a street filled the aroma wafting from piping hot food paddled by wayside vendors. It is very important to have a unique selling proposition, a differentiator, and the branding brouhaha not only designed to take the world by storm, but something that will keep the interest brewing.


Misconception #5: Startup — the easy way out


On the contrary, from the time you launch a startup to the time it takes off in autopilot, which may take awhile, the Founder and partners end up being everything to everyone. Ideation, marketing, negotiation, logistics, collection, banking, handling customer queries and tax management — the a to z of business — everything falls on your lap.

You cannot be checking your clock often. Whatever needs to be done, needs to be done. Customers make new unexpected and unforeseen demands. They may even be unjustified but business exigencies may force you to bend over backwards to fulfill even their unreasonable demands at times. If you think your startup ideas will let you focus on your core competency or do only what you enjoy, you are wide off the mark. Only if you are ready to roll up your sleeves and work, you are in here for the long haul.


Misconception #6: If you have a great, new product or service, business success is assured.


This is a myth. Very often people get carried away by the novelty of a product and assume that there will be a huge demand. They set up the assembly line and release the entire product range with a bang. Then they are shocked to see them gather dust in the supermarket shelves. A product or service you offer may be good, but is it in line with the immediate need of the customer? Does the need for the product or service felt so strongly that the customer feels the investment justified? Is it marketed to the right segment? Roti Maker made huge waves as a brilliant startup ideas concept. But domestic consumers feel that it is not worth the investment. Certain practical issues have yet to be resolved. After a person feeds the dough in the machine, the Indian bread comes out all ready in a minute. But the customer has to standby and take them away. The breads pile up and block the new ones coming out. User testing is important to succeed however good or novel the product is.

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