Knowledge in Startups

What are some things that good entrepreneurs know that others don't?

There’s a secret behind every good entrepreneur, a characteristic that sets them apart from everyone else. Some people think an entrepreneur needs to have amazing business management skills, but this is what makes a good manager, not necessarily a good entrepreneur. Some people think an entrepreneur needs to have amazing technical skills, but this is what makes a good engineer, not necessarily a good entrepreneur. Some people think an entrepreneur needs to have amazing innovation skills, but this makes a good creative thinker, not necessarily a good entrepreneur. So, to answer your question, what are some things that good entrepreneur know that others don’t? Entrepreneurs know how to create customers. They know how to build a business model around a product or service and take it to the market. He is Jack Ma, Founder of the Alibaba Group and one of the richest person on the Planet with the net worth of 39.2 Billion Dollars. In an interview, he shared what is his key to success. He said he is not the Best person but his work is to bring the best people at his company and make them work together. He said there is always a little gap in the attitude of two best people and a successful entrepreneur is who that fills the gap and make them work together. Now, Let’s come on the actual question “What are some things that good entrepreneurs know that others don't?” A good entrepreneur knows how to hire the best people for their startup. He knows how to make them work together. He knows that if he is not the best then he will have to hire the best. He knows Individuals don’t build great companies, teams do.

How do I turn an idea into a startup?

You will want to validate your idea and demand first before building anything. You don't want to build something that people don't need. I know of several companies that are trying to make it easier for women to buy jeans online, for example. It's an interesting problem, but what puzzles me is the size of their market. I don't think it's big enough to sustain even one of these companies. How many jeans do they need to sell to get $5 million in annual revenue? On the other hand, men's made to measure is a predictable market that is healthy. By the time I realize I want MTM shirts, price becomes secondary and I would want several of them. We have some experts in that area here on Quora: What is the difference between made to measure and bespoke? How many people in the US do you think would want to buy custom tailored clothing from a no-name designer? It's a matter of trust and marketing. I like dresses by Oscar de la Renta and Versace, for example. I also like Gottex swimwear and a handful of other brands. Most other designers don't catch my eye. Are you a fashion designer first who creates outfits from scratch either bespoke or MTM, a wardrobe stylist who coordinates outfits you buy from wholesalers (this is not common and could be an interesting business, very easy to start), or are you a seller first of wholesale outfits with an alteration department? I'll give you an idea for a virtual wardrobe styling and image consulting service: customers upload pictures of their clothes. You would play virtual dressup to come up with the best combinations possible out of their existing clothes. It's really not that difficult if you know the color theory and stay current on fashion trends. Computers can easily analyze colors and software can be written to pre-match colors based on their position in the color space. The trick is to ensure the pictures are taken with the same camera under same lighting (very important for relative color accuracy). That would be your secret sauce because you would be able to suggest non-obvious combinations that magically match great. You send them a composite image. You charge some money for the service, with first 10 combinations free. You will solve the problem every woman has: "What should I wear today?". Men also have that problem and tend to have ill-fitting clothes too. It'll be fun and you can start a trading section between your customers (this I think I have heard of), since you already have all the pictures. Something similar might exist. I haven't done market research in your space because I am busy with my own startups. I don't know if that exists, and I don't know if you are qualified, and I don't know if the demand is truly there, but I think the fashion industry is headed in that direction. It would cost you $0 to get started. I might build this, since I like the idea, it is easy to build a prototype, and I know plenty of starving wardrobe stylists who are qualified.   So here is what I would do to validate the idea of custom tailored clothing: Identify the persona of your target customer. Are you dressing men or women? Are you dressing them formally or casually? Is this perhaps a nightlife attire brand? What is the age range? Once you have a vague idea whom you are dressing, start talking to people who would be your buyers. Don't be concerned that someone will steal your idea, so just ask them what they think. You will want to learn sales techniques to ask various open-ended questions to switch from pitching to closing. One such question is "I am working on _________. Who do you think will find it useful?". Personally, I am a little more aggressive than that, but my product is functional enough to be in beta, so my question is "Whom do you know that would want to use my product today?". If you have a fit, you will hear "I would use it" or "how can I sign up?". Vague answers like "many people will use it" are useless. Specific referrals like "you should talk to Mary, here is her number" are somewhat useful. Ask your prospects what problems they wish this product solved but it doesn't now. This is a very powerful question that can lead you to a more actionable idea. Sign up for an account on Email Marketing and Email List Manager | MailChimp and add everyone you talk to who wants to stay informed to that list. That is your "pre-launch" mailing list. It's free for 2000 people. You can have many free accounts. :) Should they express desire to become buyers: When you get to the point that people want to buy from you, start a store on Etsy - Your place to buy and sell all things handmade, vintage, and supplies. A friend does significant business on that platform. Her specialty is interesting dresses. Etsy will get you the "foot traffic" to your virtual store that you likely will not get on your own. Build up the business on Etsy and begin to establish your own platform. The key is to continuously grow the mailing list of customers. Finally, I will tell you a little bit about my qualifications to answer this. I helped my former wife operate a nightlife clothing boutique on eBay. We got killed by direct sales from China to US. Their retail price was below our wholesale price. We had an interesting brand. She had to find a different niche that had pent up demand and limited supply. She now designs and sells her own products wholesale directly. Please don't invest money into this until you either validate this concept or come up with an even better one. One exception: get some business cards made.

What is the most innovative start-up that you have seen?

Magic Leap - The Secretive $6 Billion Startup Changing Computing Forever. Magic Leap is an American startup company that is working on a head-mounted virtual retinal display, called Magic Leap One, which superimposes 3D computer-generated imagery over real-world objects, by "projecting a digital light field into the user's eye", involving technologies potentially suited to applications in augmented reality and computer vision. It is attempting to construct a light-field chip using silicon photonics. The company raised more than $1.8 billion from tech giants like Google, Alibaba and other investors too before rivalling their technology. Magic Leap has operated in extreme secrecy since it was founded in 2011. Only a few people got to see its technology, even fewer knew how it worked, and all of them were buried under so many nondisclosure agreements that they could barely admit the company existed. Magic leap announced its first product is now available for purchase. But the average computer user isn't about to rush out and buy it. The Magic Leap One Creator Edition is being marketed to "developers and creators" at a retail price of $2,295. It's available online only in select cities. The package comes with software and a headset that lets users add layers of computer-generated images and applications to the world around them. It also includes a web browser and a social platform to connect with other Magic Leap users. The result: common programs like email and videos "float" in the real world in front of the user.


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