Recently, our team at Zebulon Solutions attended Denver Startup Week. Our own Dr. Todd Hochwitz teamed up with other subject matter experts in engineering, business development, product fulfillment, and supply chain management to discuss the journey and address the challenges of developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and how to get that product into actual scale production. (The Long Road: From MVP to Production)
While the experts shared a few funny (and a few horror) stories about companies that tried to take shortcuts along the way, one thing was clear; there are no shortcuts. Overnight success is a highly sought-after myth.
Of course, no one wants to hear this!
Demonstrated by the widespread use and success of tools such as Google Maps or Waze, we are a society that loves the express lane. We’re always trying to find a faster or easier way to do things. But…what about the overnight success?
The Overnight Success Myth.
We have all seen it. Someone who seems to come out of nowhere and becomes immediately and massively famous or a new product that seems to make leaps of innovation overnight and is wildly successful. How does this happen? Is it having extraordinary luck? Is it being born extremely talented or with a genius intellect? Is it knowing the right people or attending the right school?
The truth is it could be all, some or none of these things. The real secret to what many would call “overnight” success is not only knowing that there is no such thing but also understanding that it is almost always a combination of hard work, creativity, having the right network and team in place along with being ready when good opportunities come knocking. Of course, a little luck doesn’t hurt either!
So? How do you get to that spot? I thought you’d never ask! And Denver Startup Week seemed like a perfect time to get some insight into just this.
Because Denver Startup Week was full of speakers and sessions and people with passion, I took the opportunity to pick up some tips on success.
So, what were the top takeaways and tips from these experts? And what advice should we take from those who have “been there and done that”? How do we avoid shortcuts, but still save time?
Identify the areas in which you lack knowledge.
Once you have identified areas that you don’t understand, don’t possess the skill set for, or just lack the necessary level of proficiency to be successful, you can move onto the next question. Where do I find help?
How do I find someone to help me?
Networking is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. I cannot emphasize enough how fundamental, yet crucial, this skill is when seeking out guidance and assistance. Some of the best people to ask for help are individuals who have been where you are right now, or where you will be soon.
And not just because they have “been there and done that”, but because they may save you precious and costly time in constructing an invaluable network of contacts. Especially here in the Denver market where our entrepreneurial ecosystem is small enough that the right help is often only one or two degrees of separation away, if not closer. Networking can be a mighty instrument in your arsenal when assembling the right team.
Assemble the right team.
Obviously, when you are assembling a team it is important to make sure you have the right players with the right skills, who play well together. Many startup companies are constrained by limited resources, both human and capital, which can make putting together the best team a challenging undertaking. The most practical and cost-effective solution provided by our panel of experts was to make sure team members are all capable of wearing multiple hats.
According to Todd, building a multi-disciplined team that can function as a cohesive unit and provides end to end capabilities, allows entrepreneurs to effectively shift focus and resources as business needs evolve and grow. While this team structure is ideal, it is often difficult to fully engage (and compensate) a team of this caliber when there are lags or delays in product development resulting in slower or stalled progress of the business. For these reasons, it can be helpful to have the flexibility and on-demand expertise that Zebulon Solutions provides. We take great pride in our ability to expertly fulfill those types of fractional roles on ongoing or limited bases. To learn more visit our website at www.zebulonsolutions.com.
Written by: Kirsten; With insights from Todd and Chuck