Robyn Townsend

How To Think Like A Startup

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It's no secret that some of the most innovative businesses of the last 10 years have been startup businesses. From Airbnb to Uber startups have been changing the face of business and more are always on the rise.
I am fortunate that I get to work with startup businesses every day. I have seen first hand that with the right mindset, anything is possible. So today I am going to share my tips for how to think like a startup.

1 Find something you enjoy

"Find a job you love and you'll never work another day in your life". Ok so this adage is a bit of cliche but it's not without some truth. It doesn't matter if you are starting up a business or trying to develop your career. It's going to feel a lot harder if you have no passion for what you are doing.

2 Be inquisitive

A common theme with successful startups is that they question standard conventions. They have a great understanding of how their product/market works. This gives them the ability to see opportunities and go for them!

3 Use your connections

We put a lot of work into building our networks but how often do we use them to full effect?
You might be learning from others mistakes. Getting the right tips on effective marketing. Or getting friendly support from another business. Either way, there's a wealth of knowledge and advice in your network that might help you. Use it.

4 Stay Positive

Don't waste time worrying about the challenges your facing or what might happen in the future. Overcome the dear of things going wrong. Look at the opportunities & possibilities ahead.

5 Keep it simple

Do one thing and do it well!
It doesn't matter if you're developing a new product. Learning a new skill. Or working on your personal development. Don't fall into the trap of making things too complicated.
Have a plan for adding things in later down the line but focus on the basics.

6 Use the lean startup Methodology

If you have anything to do with startup businesses this will not be unfamiliar to you.
The methods current reputation has been massively influenced by the best selling book "The Lean Startup". Written by Eric Ries in 2011
The lean startup method is a way of developing a business that keeps the life cycle short.
In summary, start by building a product with the fewest features. Then get it in front of your customers and gather their feedback. Learn from that feedback, adjust and fine-tune. If it is not working, pivot. You can find out more about lean startup here.

7 Be fast

By using tips 5 and 6 you test new ideas quickly and effectively helping you get to the good ones quicker. It's competitive out there. So your speed is of the essence if you're going to take advantage of an opportunity.

8 Be Creative

Finally, be creative!
Use out of the box thinking to work around problems and come up with innovative solutions.
Check out my recent post "Why engineers need creative skills" for more information.
It doesn't matter if you are starting a business, applying for a new job or trying to change the world. Thinking like a startup will help give you the upper hand in today's fast-paced world.