Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Entrepreneurs — What You Need to Know Besides Innovation

To successfully start a business and make it long-lived, innovation is not the only key. Learning from others experience and suggestions save you time and work. As a graduate student in Northwestern's Medill Integrated Marketing Communication program, with an interest in startups, I believe that by standing on the shoulders of giants, you can see further.

The first article is: “Digital Entrepreneur Tips: An Interview with Two Digital Innovators” from Social Media Today by John D Saunders. In this article, two digital entrepreneurs, Joey Richard and Brandon Davis are interviewed. They were asked with questions like what’s the biggest challenge they had met, how has the tech industry helped or hindered their business, and what competitive advantage they have. These two innovators work on different type of product. One is music app and the other is online publication. Therefore from the article we can get different insight and have a glance of different styles of lives of digital entrepreneur. Some of their recommendation or experience are valuable even to non-digital entrepreneurs.

source: http://bit.ly/1s12clY

The second article “Expert advice for digital entrepreneurs: execution over idea, always” is the round-up of some insights and advice from the live chat on “how to survive and thrive as a digital entrepreneur in 2013” made by “The Guardian Media Network.” There are ten advices from seven experts including founders, CEO and directors. The insights include when and which field is better for innovation, what to do and what not to do in entrepreneurship, and ways to make your work efficient. 

For a startup to success, the innovation is needed. However, great idea only can’t make a business. First of all, you need to examine the idea with how competitive it will be and how others can’t copy that. If it past the examination, you should be confident enough. Then there’s no more reason to hesitate. Execution is needed. And never be afraid of failure. Just learn from them and adjust the plan. There’s nothing impossible. Make your idea real.

After reviewing these articles, there are three action items you should immediately consider for your start-up:

1. Find out your core competitive advantage –to make a successful business, you need to know what you’re offering, and what is attracting customers. To keep your business competitive, it takes some core characteristics. Make sure it is hard to be copied by other competitors or existing big company. Or make sure that you are the precursor that other’s can’t catch up.
2. Execute theIdea—Once you made sure that you will be competitive enough and you have enough resources to make a business, go for it. Don’t waste time wondering. If it’s a great idea, others might come up with it as well and start to work on it at any time.  You would never want to see that happen and regret. Without execution, even the best idea is a waste.
3. Try and error.—Don’t get disappointed or depressed easily. It has never been easy to start a business, especially when you are working in a new field. Failure comes a lot. Try to learn from them. Every failure leads you closer to the success.

April Fang-Yu Tseng is an innovator focusing on digital entrepreneurship. She has multiple experiences in entrepreneur project on app and web products/ services. She manages user interface/ experience and marketing strategy in these projects. She is now a Master of Science candidate in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. You can follow her on twitter at @FangYuTseng

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