Entrepreneurship What makes an Entrepreneur? What’s in Mentoring them? Published 3 years ago on September 15, 2014 By Lakshmi Share Tweet Want to be an entrepreneur? Here’s a conversation for you. This mentor to hundreds of entrepreneurs shares why now is the time to be an entrepreneur in India! Related Topics:EntrepreneurentrepreneursIndiamentormentoring Continue Reading You may like Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy Arthur Lam, Co-Founder of Synergy Johnson Zhuo, Founder of Dream Sparkle Ariz Shafi, Co-Founder of Shafi Education Vincent Wong, Country Head of ShopBack Entrepreneurship What Kills A Startup Published 8 hours ago on October 19, 2017 By The Asian Entrepreneur Authors & Contributors 1 – Being inflexible and not actively seeking or using customer feedback Ignoring your users is a tried and true way to fail. Yes that sounds obvious but this was the #1 reason given for failure amongst the 32 startup failure post-mortems we analyzed. Tunnel vision and not gathering user feedback are fatal flaws for most startups. For instance, ecrowds, a web content management system company, said that “ We spent way too much time building it for ourselves and not getting feedback from prospects — it’s easy to get tunnel vision. I’d recommend not going more than two or three months from the initial start to getting in the hands of prospects that are truly objective.” 2 – Building a solution looking for a problem, i.e., not targeting a “market need” Choosing to tackle problems that are interesting to solve rather than those that serve a market need was often cited as a reason for failure. Sure, you can build an app and see if it will stick, but knowing there is a market need upfront is a good thing. “Companies should tackle market problems not technical problems” according to the BricaBox founder. One of the main reasons BricaBox failed was because it was solving a technical problem. The founder states that, “While it’s good to scratch itches, it’s best to scratch those you share with the greater market. If you want to solve a technical problem, get a group together and do it as open source.” 3 – Not the right team A diverse team with different skill sets was often cited as being critical to the success of a starti[ company. Failure post-mortems often lamented that “I wish we had a CTO from the start, or wished that the startup had “a founder that loved the business aspect of things”. In some cases, the founding team wished they had more checks and balances. As Nouncers founder stated, “This brings me back to the underlying problem I didn’t have a partner to balance me out and provide sanity checks for business and technology decisions made.” Wesabe founder also stated that he was the sole and quite stubborn decision maker for much of the enterprises life, and therefore he can blame no one but himself for the failures of Wesabe. Team deficiencies were given as a reason for startup failure almost 1/3 of the time. 4 – Poor Marketing Knowing your target audience and knowing how to get their attention and convert them to leads and ultimately customers is one of the most important skills of a successful business. Yet, in almost 30% of failures, ineffective marketing was a primary cause of failure. Oftentimes, the inability to market was a function of founders who liked to code or build product but who didn’t relish the idea of promoting the product. The folks at Devver highlighted the need to find someone who enjoys creating and finding distribution channels and developing business relationship for the company as a key need that startups should ensure they fill. 5 – Ran out of cash Money and time are finite and need to be allocated judiciously. The question of how should you spend your money was a frequent conundrum and reason for failure cited by failed startups. The decision on whether to spend significantly upfront to get the product off the group or develop gradually over time is a tough act to balance. The team at YouCastr cited money problems as the reason for failure but went on to highlight other reasons for shutting down vs. trying to raise more money writing: The single biggest reason we are closing down (a common one) is running out of cash. Despite putting the company in an EXTREMELY lean position, generating revenue, and holding out as long as we could, we didn’t have the cash to keep going. The next few reasons shed more light as to why we chose to shut down instead of finding more cash. The old saw was that more companies were killed by poor cashflow than anything else, but factors 1, 2 and 4 probably are the main contributing factors to that problem. No cash, no flow. The issue No 3 – the team – is interesting, as if I take that comment ” I didn’t have a partner to balance me out and provide sanity checks for business and technology decisions made” and think about some of the founders and startup CEOs I know, I can safely say that the main way that any decision was made was by agreeing with them – it was “my way or the highway”. I don’t therefore “buy” the team argument, I more buy the willingness of the key decision makers to change when things are not working (aka “pivoting” – point 9). _________________________________________________ About the Author This article was produced by Broadsight. Broadsight is an attempt to build a business not just to consult to the emerging Broadband Media / Quadruple Play / Web 2.0 world, but to be structured according to its open principles. see more. Continue Reading Callum Connects Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor Published 1 day ago on October 18, 2017 By Callum Laing Jasmine saves her clients time and effort when doing kitchen fit outs with her biz Stone Amperor. What’s your story? I started working in the industry in 2003. I was in a marble and granite supplier company for 5 years. Even though I left the company, I still had customers calling me for my services. I referred them back to my previous company but they refused to because they loved the fast response service that I offered. I realised that customers do look at prices, however most of them prefer quality over quantity. Thus I have decided to establish a sole proprietor company also known as 78 Degrees which later rebranded as Stone Amperor in 2014. What excites you most about your industry? The kitchen countertop industry is a very confusing market. There are many brands, materials and prices to choose from. What excites me the most is my ability to help clients choose the best materials and brands within their budgets, whilst saving them time and effort. What’s your connection to Asia? I have been in Asia all my life and I love Asia. No matter where you go there is no place like home. Favourite city in Asia for business and why? I love Singapore. This is because Singapore has always been a stable country and it is great for doing business. However as it is a small country, it can be really competitive. I believe that if just do your best and give your best to your customers, you can overcome this. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? “Take actions. Learn and improve continuously. An idea without action is just a dream.” This was really good advice that I received from my partner. Who inspires you? A very down to earth billionaire from Malaysia, Robert Kuok What have you just learnt recently that blew you away? Property is the foundation of every business. If you had your time again, what would you do differently? Own instead of renting property for my business. How do you unwind? I enjoy going shopping, watching movies and hanging out with friends. I am quite a simple being. Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? I love going to Taiwan as I love the culture there. Everyone is so polite and the weather is great. Everyone in business should read this book: Sun Tzu, Art of war Shameless plug for your business: Perfect top, Perfect price, Perfect life from Stone Amperor How can people connect with you? Email me at [email protected] Twitter handle? @StoneAmperor — This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’. Connect with Callum here: twitter.com/laingcallum linkedin.com/in/callumlaing Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com Continue Reading Latest Popular Entrepreneurship8 hours ago What Kills A Startup Callum Connects1 day ago Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor Entrepreneurship2 days ago Is There A Coworking Space Bubble? Callum Connects2 days ago Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy Callum Connects3 days ago Arthur Lam, Co-Founder of Synergy Callum Connects3 days ago Arthur Lam, Co-Founder of Synergy Callum Connects1 week ago Johnson Zhuo, Founder of Dream Sparkle Callum Connects2 days ago Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy Entrepreneurship2 days ago Is There A Coworking Space Bubble? 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