Relationships play an integral part in the success of your business. Having spent 8 years in large organizations and 3 years building startups, I have realized that the most important element of success is trust. When people trust you, they will do things for you. They’re happy to give you feedback. They’re willing to promote your product. They’re willing to pay you to solve their problem. Trust comes from the relationships that you have with people. Initially, your relationship network will likely consist of friends and family. If you’re lucky, they could potentially be your target customers but chances are, they are not. So what can you do? The next step is to broaden your circle by starting to build[…]

At the earliest stages of any startup, you’re always going to be looking for beta testers to test your product or service. Preferably, the beta testers are realistically the ones who will turn into buyers and are not purely consisting of friends or family. Unless of course, they are likely to be your customer. Startup gurus such as Eric Ries, Steve Blank and Ash Maurya all advise about building a minimum viable product or MVP. But what is a minimum viable product exactly? A Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. – Eric Ries, Author, The Lean Startup Are[…]

Over the past 3 years, I’ve worked on several startup ideas consisting of a macro economic statistics service, a location analytics platform (i.e. simplified cloud-based ESRI tool with actual business locations), a real estate marketplace (i.e. Zillow for Canada) and a mobile-based solution to provide travellers with free discounts and data (i.e. Handy but with a cleaner UI and bigger value proposition). Although those ideas didn’t work out, I learned many lessons along the way and will be sharing more lessons as I¬†continue my startup journey. If you’re an attentive reader, you’ll notice that I pivoted 4 times in 3 years. Not great. One of the biggest mistakes many entrepreneurs make is deciding to give up on their idea too[…]