by Alex Dunn on March 7, 2013
Hear some humourous stories about the founding of Skyscope and find out what cofounders Alex and Sam have to say about it in their recent guest lecture at the Clark University – Innovation & Entrepreneurship event, “The World is Yours.”
The talk was centered on challenging conventional wisdom and highlighting unconventional principles and tactics that are surprisingly effective.
For many people, a problem with an existing product or service is something to complain about. For the entrepreneur, this is a signal that there is opportunity to improve on it…and within this opportunity lies a profit.
Startups can be hesitant to target a narrow and specific niche since it can feel like you are losing opportunities from the market at large. The reality is that specialists stand out to buyers. Don’t try to appeal to everyone. The same goes for your product or service. Don’t fall into the “featuritis” trap. Instead, focus on doing less…just do it better than anyone else out there!
95% of the entrepreneurs you ask will say they set goals for their startup. The issue is, the majority really just have ideas about what they hope will happen, not true goals! Setting S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time based) goals is a start, but you also want to set big goals that almost anyone outside your company would deem unrealistic. Having a big vision keeps you motivated when the going gets tough.
As the saying goes, sales cure all. Many people have adopted the conventional wisdom that sales is all about pitching why you are better: “My product this, my product that.” In reality, no one cares about “you,” and whether it’s an email or a sales call, as soon as you start talking about why your product or service is sooooo much better than your competitors, most people tune out. Discuss and make suggestions about how you can help them. If they want to hear why you are different, they’ll ask!
Branding may start with design and visual perception, but it cascades through every aspect of your business. It’s never too early to consider the brand message that will resonate with your target audience.
As past Clark graduates, it was awesome to come back and be on the other side of the classroom for a change! Many great questions from the students…very excited for the bright futures awaiting these Clarkies!