It’s Oluwadamilare here
We had a chat with Bolu Oluwagbesan, Co-founder/CEO of Stanbuzz, a company that aims to reduce advertising spend waste on the internet. He is a designer and marketing specialist at the core. When he’s not working, Bolu spends time watching soccer. He’s an avid Chelsea FC supporter and is based in Lagos, Nigeria.
He shares some of his biggest takeaways from being in the startup space. You definitely want to implement some of his advice.
First Attempt At Being A Founder
My first startup was founded in 2015 and was called PINFOOT. We were trying to create a social media platform, a fusion of Twitter and Instagram for football lovers. Worked on it but it didn’t work out.
Took a break from being a founder after that and went into digital marketing and some other things. Last year I picked it back up and started working on Storemia, an easy and fast way to create an ecommerce store, for small businesses.
Takeaways From My Experience in the Startup Space
I have learnt a lot of things being in this space, but the things that really stand out and I will advise anyone to do are:
- Launch fast.
A lot of people call themselves founders but don’t have a product out. Find a way to build your product fast. It doesn’t need to have all the beautiful things you want from day 1, work on your MVP (Minimum Viable Product), get into the market, then continue to build on it over time.
- Don’t be too attached to your product.
Always look at the problem – what are you solving?
Be more focused on the problem you are trying to solve than “your solution” to said problem.
For example, if you need footwear for soccer and I design a sandal. Of course, a sandal isn’t right for football. After getting that feedback, my job is to find a different solution to the problem, in this case, design a boot. A lot of people are so fixated on their solution to the problem that they get too attached and lose focus on the actual problem.
Your product might not be the exact solution to the problem, it might be close but not be “it”, so don’t get too attached. Once the target market says they don’t want what you are building, quickly ask them for what they want and go and work on that.
Have a culture of writing codes in your company, a culture of building a lot, then you can find a solution to the problem faster and more efficiently. This ties in with the above points, the more you build, the earlier you launch, and the closer you are to getting to the solution needed. Don’t be too caught up in your solution.
If you don’t launch fast, you will be too caught up in your solution and if you don’t already have the culture of building and iterating, you will be reluctant to keep at it.
If you spend 10 months building a solution that your audience does not want, you will feel very reluctant to build something else
- Work with smart people
If you are working in a tech startup, try as much as possible to have someone in your team that can code. If you have to contract it out, you will most likely build more slowly than if you were to have that skill in your team. I personally have a bias against having no one that can code in your tech startup team. It is a “tech” team, someone needs to know how the system is actually run.
- Do the actual work of providing a solution
Have a culture of doing the work and not just looking smart. Put in the work required to solve the problem. The branding shouldn’t be more than the work on the actual product you put out there.
The branding shouldn’t be more than the work
- Be a feedback oriented company
Interact with your customers, engage with them and get feedback. There are chances that you have done something they don’t like or there is something they like that you haven’t done so talk to them to know how to improve. When someone criticizes something you are doing, take the criticism, move on and work on it.
A feedback on your product is not an insult to your intelligence. It is just the the fact about what they need
There you have it,
The problem comes first, not you, not even your solution. The Problem!
I hope this has helped you.
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