My Life is a Startup – Life Lessons Learnedby Franz Wiesbauer on May 17, 2011 • 7:45 pm
The startup scene is familiar ground for many MedCrunch readers. So is its lingo and concepts. The lean startup movement with proponents such as Eric Ries and Steve Blank has been an important voice, when it comes to entrepreneurship and building companies in the tech environment – Just think “agile development” or “customer development”. These processes are all about rapid iteration, hypothesis generation, falsification and fast learning and are commonly used in software programing. They were born out of the notion that startups cannot be managed like small brothers of big companies. They have to validate their business models first and only then they can grow up to become like their corporate counterparts. Some major questions every startup entrepreneur should ask him/herself according to some of these entrepreneurial concepts are:
1. What problem are we solving?
2. Is this an important problem to solve?
3. How are we going to solve this problem?
4. Whose problem is this?
5. How much are they going to pay for a solution?
6. Who is going to pay?
7. Who are going to be our partners or competitors?
8. What are the channels we are going to have to use in order to reach our audience?
9. How can we build the “fail fast and frequently” mantra into our DNA?
These are just some of the important questions that every potential founder should consider. Every startup entrepreneur has his or her own set of answers to these questions. But are they true? The lean startup movement has its own methodology of answering these questions:
1. Set up a hypothesis
2. How could you verify or falsify the hypothesis?
3. Set up an experiment or find an analogy/antilogy to the problem
4. If your hypothesis was wrong: find another hypothesis
5. If your hypothesis was correct: move on to the next hypothesis
That way you will arrive at a scalable business model. Sounds like a pretty good process not only for startups but for life in general: What is the problem? (i.e., goals in life) How are you going to solve it? (i.e., What steps are you going to take to arrive at your goals?) Who are the competitors? (i.e., What are the competing goals?) Attaining your goals mostly depends on knowing what these goals are. Once you know exactly what you want, the rest is a learnable technique. From our experience, most people who think that they cannot get the things they want from life, be it family, kids, career, money etc. really don’t know what they want in the first place. Certainly, there are exceptions and sometimes people really know what they want and just don’t get it. They tried hard and failed often. But at least they tried. Successful people think about their lifes as successful entrepreneurs think about their startup: they try again, fail again and ultimately they will arrive at something that scales to something meaningful.