In the book “I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59”, Douglas Edwards shares that Google founders were so fed up with business development people advising them “by the book”, they procrastinated having any business people in the building who didn’t understand the 100x power of their technology and couldn’t code.
The point is: when you are developing something unique, it’s OK to break the rules and traditions.
At this 2-year anniversary of WellAI, we share our word of advice with anyone who came up with an idea or built an algorithm and wants to explore whether that idea could develop into a growing business.
Here are our 7 rules of running a successful startup:
- It’s OK to build an algorithm in search of a solution. Don’t listen to naysayers. Think Google.
- If you can afford it, don’t get VCs and investors until you have a product that sells. Even then, think twice: why do you need an investor if you are already growing. The only reason you may still need investors is to scale your product.
- If you can make a living going slow with your startup, take it slow. There is no shame in that.
- If you have a prototype, any prototype, have as many conversations with all sorts of experts as possible. Early conversations are super important. That’s how you learn about the market and where and how your product may help. While you are building a product, get as much feedback as possible about the prototype, run experiments, pilot your product.
- Throw every suggestion about your product against the wall and see what sticks.
- Get the “technical people power”. For a technology company, it’s much better than having a “business people power”. Technical people know right away where the pain is and can figure out early how to address that pain. WellAI is fortunate in this department.
- Get a catchy descriptive name for your product everyone understands immediately. For WellAI, one such name has been a ‘second opinion tool’.
We lived and sweated through all these 7 rules. We hope someone else would benefit from our experience. Happy adventures in entrepreneurship! Go conquer the world!