The Adventure of a Happy Startup
”If you are someone who is creating something from nothing, you will encounter the darkness at some point of your journey” (as Jimi Smoot puts it).
The only certain thing about a startup is its uncertainty. That’s one happy thought, isn’t it? But hey, positive vibes first: they say passion beats out any kind of clog you could come across on the long path you have chosen to go.
There might be a path to entrepreneurial happiness. But how does an idea turn into reality? Are there steps to be followed? If so, how many? Is there a recipe? A lot of people who have already gone through a startup adventure capitalized on a few stages of development for a growing business. Let us tell you about our ThinkOut experience so far by taking those stages one step at a time.
First things first: seed funding
Martin Zwilling talks about the difference between seed-stage and early-stage financing. If in the early stage you ask for money before you have customers, the seed stage equals the critical period when you actually need funding to prove that your product works. He talks about a few bootstrapping recommended approaches such as crowdfunding campaigns, seed-stage “super angels”, micro venture capital firms, business accelerator funding, startup incubator seed funding, or corporate seed funds for startups. Our own experience at ThinkOut taught us that one thing is for sure — no matter the odds of winning a contract, the rigorous exercise of writing a proposal is a great experience that will most certainly help you refine your concept. It puts your thoughts in order; and your plan. It teaches you discipline, which is essential if you want to survive; starting with planning your money (you guessed it right — cash flow).
Going further: building the dream team
Finding the right team is an essential step that you should not miss while going on the Startup Adventure. Don’t rush into this process, it’s always best to wait for the right hire. People who work in startups are true believers. Self-sufficient learners who share the same values, beliefs, and mission. If you find self-motivated people who are willing to learn as they go, the startup may work as their own sweet spot. It simply becomes a matter of learning environments in which a team’s need of becoming great is accomplished.
Maybe it’s a matter of luck, or a matter of karma, or who knows…but the ThinkOut team seems to be drawn together in a close-knit. A crack team of superheroes fighting for better business. At least that’s how we feel like. Imagine such a team later on, when you run a steadily developing business… Great things on the horizon.
What you’ve been dreaming of: creating the product
We know great digital products start with empathy for the end user. If you can feel the pain of your future clients and put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be able to create a better solution for that pain. And if you yourself are a part of the target market, all the better. When you care about making a difference, you inevitably focus on fulfilling one or more of the core human desires: human connection; helping others; unique memorable experiences; learning and education; comfort and relaxation; protecting your money. It sounds ambitious, but the truth is it all resides in basic needs.
Great products have a tendency to be simple on the outside, yet powerful on the inside — that is why we want ThinkOut to enable the end-users to gain more certainty regarding their business; it’s easy to use and it can solve a real problem. It’s not about creating any product, but about crafting the right product.
When you truly care about what is that you are doing, you will inevitably put everything in.
Finding the silver lining, that’s what’s next. But how? Our focus is on becoming who we want to be instead of being who we already are. We’ve got to be in love with the hustle and always on the grind. That’s the Startup Adventure. We strongly believe we can strike a balance between being and becoming. We want to get on with something we feel we are good at creating meaningful experiences both online and in the real world for small businesses and growing startups. Our goal, among others, is to achieve great things together. Inspire. Empower. Believe.
Maybe entrepreneurship isn’t the right word to name this track. Neither is a startup. Let’s try idea. That turns into a product, which will eventually turn up into a business. Let us tell you a little something: ThinkOut has a not-so-little, mandatory ingredient in its composition and that is a certain kind of motivation that drives us through this adventure every single day.
Although our product is about something as concrete as cash flow planning, we see beyond practicalities. We see what it can be achieved, the growth it can empower, and the relief it can provide. And we know one thing for sure. There are no recipes. There is no good or bad. There is no right choice. Maybe it’s all about magic.