There are many famous entrepreneurs who have doled out invaluable advice on starting up. A lot of startup advice offered by successful entrepreneurs is similar, but there are some who have been nonconformist in reaching their success.
Nowhere is this more relevant than for the mobile app entrepreneur building his or her first mobile app.
Here’s wisdom from five successful entrepreneurs who went against the grain to build their successful businesses and how you can follow in their footsteps:
1. Ryan Paugh
Co-founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council
Advice: Share your ideas with people. The first thing most people do when they come up with an exciting idea is lock it up in the recesses of their mind. They get obsessive about signing non-disclosure agreements with just about everyone they share their idea with.
But Ryan Paugh, who co-founded the Young Entrepreneur Council, suggests quite the opposite:
“The best thing you can do is share your ideas with people. A lot of entrepreneurs avoid this because they are worried that others will steal their ideas. … Most people could never execute correctly on a good idea that you had.
Ask: Would you buy this? If you get good feedback and truly believe in your heart that your idea has legs, start now.”
2. Paul Graham
Partner at Y Combinator
Advice: Start with deceptively small things. We all would like to build the next Instagram, Angry Birds or Evernote. Wouldn’t we? We’re constantly searching for that million-dollar idea — a product that millions of people want and would use.
But according to Paul Graham — neither Bill Gates nor Mark Zuckerberg knew at first how big their companies would get.
“The way to do really big things seems to be to start with deceptively small things. Maybe it’s a bad idea to have really big ambitions initially, because the bigger your ambition, the longer it’s going to take, and the further you project into the future, the more likely you’ll get it wrong.
Don’t try to construct the future like a building, because your current blueprint is almost certainly mistaken. Start with something you know works, and when you expand, expand westward.”
3. Dan Martell
Founder of Clarity
Advice: It’s okay to have three to five ideas. Many people don’t get started because they are unsure of which app idea to pursue. And having many app ideas rather than the one million-dollar app idea is seen as an impediment in starting up.
Here’s Dan Martell‘s solution:
“I think it’s okay to have three to five ideas for a business but the next important step is to take action.
That might mean you should call 10 potential customers to get their feedback, or maybe try and sell three customers the idea before you build or do anything. That’s what I do, especially if I’m not a potential customer.”
4. Tim Ferriss
Author of The 4-Hour Work Week
Advice: Don’t quit just yet. Probably the biggest dilemma most people face is whether to quit their job to build their app business.
Tim Ferriss advises against it:
“I discourage people from cutting all ties and losing full-time income to focus on a business. You don’t have to make that leap. People tend to think it’s employee or entrepreneur, but there’s a broad spectrum and you can very slowly and methodically move from one end to the other.”
5. Reid Hoffman
Co-founder of Linkedin
Advice: Let your product embarrass you.
It’s easy to get carried away in building that one perfect app with the best possible user interface, selection of features and frills and functionalities. But many apps that are fully loaded with features have failed.
Reid Hoffman stresses timeliness above all:
“It’s getting out and getting in the market and learning and moving, [which are] much more important than the ego satisfaction of ‘Oh, I want to do it completely behind a cloak and then [remove] the cloak and everyone knows how wonderful and what a genius I am cause they think the product is so wonderful.’”
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