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  • Startups: Keep It Simple, Then Go Big

    “If you are not ashamed of your product when you launch it, you launched too late.” I had that same experience with Upstart: it was and remains kind of a mess – but we’re getting there.

    Launch your product:  but remember to take time to learn about your product and customers.

    I like anything simple – especially if your plan is to go big. I think a good measure for many young companies that wish to go public early: it’s

    Courtesy: Surge Andrey Kiselev/PhotoXpress Free Images

    best to play the “long game.” A product is not a company and iterations to a product don’t make a global company. Many companies should not be companies yet, they should be rigorous proving grounds not only for their products and services, but for the potential longevity of those products and services.

    It’s only natural that as a young business, you want to  become something big and visible, but many times, in our haste to be important – we miss the opportunity to become valuable. In a brief, but insightful piece in the Wall Street Journal, A Tip For Entrepreneurs: Hurry Up!, Demetria Gallegos of WSJ’s Tech Europe blog, was given a seven point launch plan from serial entrepreneur, Loic Le Meur, who started the social-media app platform Seesmic Inc.

    I agree with Le Meur that startups should not be concerned with the aesthetic of the presentation too early – get it out there and let the corrections and innovations come from your built-in focus group: your potential customers. The article states, “Launch super fast.  Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn said, “if you are not ashamed of your product when you launch it, you launched too late.” I have had that same experience with Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals: it was and remains kind of a mess – but we’re getting there.

    I believe you should jump into the fray and launch, yet I also believe that you should have enough patience to find out what your product will achieve – cannot achieve – who is your customer – who will never be your customer — and how will you get your product into the hands of customers consistently.

    Keep it simple – then go big when the opportunity to strikes is available.

    Good Luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    Calvin.wilson1@verizon.net

    Filed Under: Startup/Entrepreneur

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