Apple was founded when school going Steve Jobs met college freshman Steve Wozniak. Their handshake is still considered as one of the famous handshakes. The company which started with nothing has magnified its growth up to 235 billion dollars.
Facebook was published by 4-5 college going teens in the Harvard University. It made modest $382,000 in its commencement year while its IPO held in 2012 made a lot of buzzes as it valued more than 104 billion dollar— the most by any company.
We can’t rule out Microsoft when we talk about drawing inspiration from the existing leaders. Bill Gates and Paul Allen were school going teens and were fond of each other’s ideas. They started their journey from 16000 dollar revenue which has reached a massive 110 billion dollar market cap.
These stories are not trumped-up, they have happened in real life, and these leaders have doled out several lessons in scaling up the businesses. They evaluated what market missed, they iterated their ideas in the marketplace, and they started as a lean startup.
Once they got the linkage between the viable product and the market need, they stratified into strong personalities.
So, with the plenty of leaders and their stories up front, it’s right that we ask ourselves “how to level up our businesses?”
Let’s leaf through some of the lessons from the champions who converted startups into large-scale enterprises:
Bill Gates (Microsoft): Innovating Trickling Rule
If you have got the threshold to start your own business, you should get the threshold to make it run.
According to Bill Gates, a business fails when it becomes stagnant while many Startups who do exceedingly well in the initial years fail to keep up the pace with the innovation.
A company doesn’t grow with the technical aspect only as it needs a blend of cultural motivation where everyone in the organization is convinced that moving fast is the only way to survive.
Jeff Bezos (Amazon): Two Pizzas Rule
When Amazon was a startup, Jeff Bezos applied the two-pizzas rule for bringing out the efficiency in the staffs.
Generally, small startups of 15-20 work personnel or more rely on large group meetings.
It leads to HiPPO (Highest paid person in the organization) or groupthink phenomena which paralyze or kill the creative potencies in the new or low paid employees.
Jeff believes that groups should be small enough to serve two pizzas (may be between 5 to 8 people).
Anything above that could deny wings to your startup.
Marc Randolph (Netflix): Reinventing HR rule
Marc Randolph and Patty McCord (HR) from Netflix took a unique approach to set up the company’s culture.
They believe that most of the startups fumble because they fail to reinvent their HR policies. They cling to the old school textbook ideas and fail to empower their employees.
Their mental picture is clear: Hire someone who’d place the company’s interest first, reward them for their positive results, and encourage them to own up the responsibilities.
Larry Page (Google): Balancing Rule
Larry Page has given some of the most disruptive ideas in the market. As Google falls in one of the major four tech-giants, it’s has come out correct in different facets for the growth.
One of the primary rules which have made Google standout among its competitor is the Balancing rule.
Startups trip over due to an imbalance in technical and business strategy.
Page has combined business acumen with disruptive technology where he allows his creativity and curiosity to understand any business situation and address it in the manner it should be dealt.
Henry Ford (Ford): Divergent Thinking Rule
Henry Ford once said that “very often, the market doesn’t know what it needs. Had he asked people what they wanted, they would have probably said faster horses.”
The statement projects a significant lesson for the startups which aspire to become enterprises.
Many startups don’t look beyond the horizon and stick to what market has to say.
Another reason why startups dwindle quickly is adhering to the “Convergent thinking.”
Our brain works on the power saving mode where we learn the neural path and allow our muscle memory to do the rest of the work.
Trust me, that’s not going to work.
It visibly leads to convergent thinking where you come up with correct answers, but in reality, you immolate your creative capabilities to reach to that point.
The market also thinks convergently. It would never know about cars until you develop a one. The market suggests the ideas based on the existing resources.
It’s you who has to execute an idea by exploring many solutions, i.e., free-flow of ideas in a non-linear manner— and that’s Divergent Thinking.
Steve Jobs (Apple): Left and Right Brain Amalgamation Rule
Science has proved that technical or analytical people use the left side of the brain more than the right side whereas art and creativity lovers weigh more use of the right side.
Steve Jobs flatly discarded such theories— and we can arrange corroborated evidence from his work where he collaborated both the sides of the brain to effectuate maximum potential.
Simple yet effective ideas like white earphones divorced Steve from others who filled the market with black earphones.
It immediately caught attention as everyone got to know it’s Apple and not some other brand.
Many startups shrink because they are too occupied with the operation of one of the two sides of the brain.
Steve Jobs has been vocal about creating experiences and connecting the dots— and deploying both the sides of the brain at the simultaneous function.
You have the power to build your own experience, and you hold the energy to connect the dots.
The more you learn, the better you connect, the smarter you solve the problems— and as a result, you further your chances for converting into the more significant enterprise.
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook): Global Environment Analysis
The biggest problem with the young startups is that they jump at the extreme ends of the theme— either they neglect the trending course, or they follow every trend without due diligence.
Mark Zuckerberg ideates the concept of Global Environment Analysis where he emphasizes analyzing the market analysis, the industry analysis, the analyses of companies, competitors, and clients.
Doing that would prevent your startup from over committing and signing shady deals.
It’s the reason why he read the semantics of social factor on the giants like Whatsapp and Instagram and acquired them.
Although 'execution' comes before 'exploration' in the dictionary, for business, 'exploration' will always come first with 'execution' at the second spot.
Evan Spiegel (Snapchat): Entrepreneurship Management
Snapchat has touched the new heights in the technology of Augmented Reality (AR)— thanks to the entrepreneurship management of Evan Spiegel.
When Evan Spiegel started, he knew that he was starting small, i.e., his partners and him.
He learned the art of tackling all the aspects of the small business endeavors and sustaining the enterprise.
As he learned about it, he developed confidence in his idea and got a clear vision of implementing a business model.
A large number of startups overlook “Entrepreneurship Management” and succumb to the pressure of market forces.
At one point in time, Facebook offered 3 billion dollars cash for the Snapchat acquisition, but Evan turned it down because he wanted to grow his company on his term.
Evan’s management skill saved him from the Zuckerbergs blow and continued to grow squarely in multi-billion dollars.
Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn): Performance Indexing
Heavy business words like KPIs and Performance index sound good and obvious, but it’s essential to identify them before positioning them.
Startups focus on whether the goal hits the target rather than identifying the goal post itself.
According to Reid Hoffman, “performance Indexing is a signal in the wind.”
It’s a talking mirror which discusses your flaws with you and confirms about your track record.
Putting different level of focus on KPIs may hand over the right key for unlocking the door of success.
As a startup, start measuring your goals and related progress, set the benchmark and schedule the work and make use of measurable metrics to advance into an enterprise.
Drew Houston (Dropbox): Finding Product Viability
Before Dropbox got launched, there were hundreds and thousands of cloud storage startups.
He was frustrated with the internet latency, bugs in the files, huge sizes of the data, etc.
He thought of making something for his personal use but later realized that the product could provide feasibility to others as well.
To understand people’s perspective, he posted a three-minute video explaining his product to the right audience on Hacker News.
The video received the rave reviews and comments and pointed some of the significant drawbacks of the current storage industry.
Within 24 hours, he received more than 70,000, and users ultimately voted for the minimum viable product which had enormous potential in truncating the internet latency and storage.
The lesson is a hard but effective learner for the startups where they should create an MVP and get the insight from the customers. It’s like getting a green flag from the customers.
As a startup, the best you can do is
Start reading books— The biography and autobiography of successful entrepreneurs, papers related to your stream, or any writing which strengthen your experience and creativity. Bill Gates read about 50 books a year. Average CEO book reads reach up to 4-5 in a month.
Stay updated— It’s difficult to get into their boots at a rudimentary career, but keeping yourself updated and implementing the same could give you the edge over your competitor.
Spit out the idea— Don’t wait for the right time. It is the time to spit the concept. Many greats started their career at the tender age— you are old enough to justify your position.
Don’t overemphasize failure— Startups are susceptible to failure. Don’t get overwhelmed by your failure and stop overstressing it. Patience and psychological balance catalyze your cognitive abilities and lay the successful stone for transmogrifying your startup into an enterprise.
So, who’s your top banana and head honcho? Whom do you look up to to remodel your failure? Tell us more about it in the comment section.