In 2007, when I first met Hesham Salman, he just had an idea: starting a company that would put the value of his thorough knowledge of polymer nanoencapsulation by applying them to multiple sectors. It was an idea that was more than innovative, it was quite disruptive: it consisted in the application of nanotechnology techniques to biotechnology, pharmacology, food manufacturing, fertilizer, etc. Continue Reading…
Archives For TBC
I frequently use a metaphor of a chair when I advise entrepreneurs. I compare the viability of a company with a four-legged chair. If any of the four legs is missing, perhaps you can keep sitting on the chair for a while, but when you lose balance you fall. When two legs of the chair are broken, then a fall is sure!
What are the four legs of the viability of a company?
THE FIRST LEG OF THE CHAIR: TECHNICAL VIABILITY
This is about entrepreneurs or their teams who dominate the production process. The means of production and the appropriate technology should be available, and entrepreneurs should be able to own it. As a conclusion the company should be able to produce something that works.
The technical viability leg is usually the first thing that entrepreneurs achieve, because entrepreneurs normally start a business on something that they control and that they have knowledge in. However, this is not the case for some entrepreneurs and their business projects start limping from lack of technical viability.
An entrepreneur wanted to develop and to sell an innovative tool for household recycling. Continue Reading…
The “time to market” or time to get into your market is a very important concept that affects startups. It has to do with the time it takes from product conception until the first sales are achieved.
Many startup entrepreneurs expect to sell in the first few days, but it usually will take months, in some cases many months, until the first sales are achieved. The reason is that many startups are created without having a product ready for sale. They are created just to finish the products and to sell them. When you launch a new product or service it requires time to make it known to customers and sell it. Continue Reading…
A startup is an innovative and newly created company with high potential for growth. These companies are in their first stage of development and are also innovative. So they have both a high risk of faillure and an enormous potential of benefit.
Another good complementary definition is offered by Steve Blank : “A startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable businessmodel”:
- Temporary organization: a startup always, sooner or later, finishes its launching phase and if it is successful, it leads into the growth phase and if not … it shuts down (or even worse if its founders decide not to close it, then it becomes a zombie startup). But even the last case, it is no longer a startup because it is no longer in its launching phase .
- Searching for a repeatable and scalable business model: we are talking about startups in the XXI century, when the pace of change accelerates and innovative companies have to deal with a highly uncertain environment. Entrepreneurs are hardly sure of their business model when launching a startup. They do create their startup to find the right business model, the one which generates recurring revenues (repeatable business model), and also the one which is able to grow and with revenues growing proportionately more than their expenses (scalable business model).
Some authors even say that a startup is not a company, is an experiment or a hypothesis
Finally I like to emphasize that although the concept remind us very often of dot.com companies, there are startups in different industries.
- Related issues: prototipe, concept test, test the business model, high mortality.
- Photo: KLAQ Ballon Fest 2012 by Alex Briseño. Flickr
If you liked this article or you think it can be useful for your contacts, I will appreciate if you share it on your social networks. Thanks!
Welcome to my blog Passion for Startups!
I am starting this blog today with the hope that it will help many entrepeneurs.
My work with startups has created in me a kind of passion for new innovative companies. It is the moment, after 15 years working with startups, to organize what I have learnt about them and their entrepreneurs. I consider the early stage of an innovative company the most complex and challenging. Definitively, an exciting phase.
I have a great admiration and respect for entrepreneurs who take risks and create startups.
At a time of deep crisis in our country… Continue Reading…