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Why is now the best time to start your own business? How to succeed.

Is it now the best time to start my own business?  This is a question that is asked from millions of people on planet earth. In fact any time is good time to start own business and especially now is even better. Why?

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The exponentially growing technologies like artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, data analytics,….  to perform tasks once reserved for humans is no longer reserved only for spectacular demonstrations from IBM’s Watson, Baxter the Robot or Google’s driverless car. Just go to an airport: automated check-in kiosks now dominate many airlines’ ticketing areas, pilots actively steer aircraft for less than 10 min of many flights, with autopilot guiding the rest of the journey, passport-control processes at some airports place more emphasis on scanning document bar codes than on observing incoming passengers. Another example worthwhile to mention is the automation in many office processes like personal assistance, accounting and legal. Moreover the pace of disruptive innovation has been accelerating over the last decade with more than 30% of companies being forced to leave Fortune 500 or S&P with the trend accelerating. Even previous disruptors are starting to get disrupted by newcomers which proves the point of the acceleration in disruption. This has magnified the increasingly important role of both intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs.

If we look at the history in order to learn in the 19th century, we saw more technological change than in the nine centuries preceding it. Then in the first 20 years of the 20th century, we saw more advancement than in all of the 19th century. Now, paradigm shifts occur in only a few years’ time. The World Wide Web did not exist in anything like its present form just a decade ago, and didn’t exist at all two decades before that. As these exponential developments continue, we will begin to unlock unfathomably productive capabilities and begin to understand how to solve the world’s most challenging problems. There has never been a more exciting time to be alive.

At the same time it is not only the companies that are struggling and are forced to change but the same is applicable for employees that need to be flexible, keep on upgrading their skills/competences and change jobs almost every 3 year. Within this context the security of lifelong employment and pensions are gone, more people are looking to get in the driver’s seat and take control of their destiny. Side business start-ups are on the rise.

But what has really accelerated the uptake of entrepreneurship globally is that for the first time in history, we all, more or less, have access to the same tools, knowledge, and resources thanks to the Internet, globalization, and technologies enabled by open source, crowdsourcing and cloud computing. It is cheaper and faster than ever before to launch a new business, and there is no better time than the present to start. The world has changed and there are many university entrepreneurial programs, start-up accelerators, and corporate innovation incubators  that started in just the last 5 years.

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Going back just a decade, starting up was expensive. Getting software licenses to build your product, office space to host the team, finding suitable people to offer their services was more difficult and required capital investment. What needed 5 million USD to invest and run a start-up in 2006 for 3 years needs much less than 1 million USD now. Today many of these things are easier to be accessed (crowdsourcing for people and resources), are almost free (open source software, access to the net,.. )  and you need less people and time to achieve the same results as 10 years ago.

The question 10 years ago was:

“Can we build this?”   and the answer now is yes we can.

And the focus now has changed on what it matters:

“Should we build this?”

So what are the key enablers to succeed?

  1. Believe in Yourself
  1. Solve customer problems

Your customers don’t care about your solution but to achieve their objectives and goals. So identify the problems or obstacles that get in the way of their goals, and then identify the right solution to build. Experiment with various solutions, test them with customers and keep on improving is the way to go.

  1. Channel your energy to the right problem

There are no shortages of problems in the world. Entrepreneurs are wired to seek out solutions. All you have to do is channel your attention on the right problemand you’ll leave the world better off than when you entered it.Isn’t that all that really matters?

Don’t waste your time and take action.

  1. Measure progress

There is only one metric that matters — Is the value you capture from customers increasing?

Don’t ask customers what they think of your idea.

Measure what they do!

  1. Failure is learning

You need to completely remove “failure” from your vocabulary. There is no failure. Everything is learning

  1. The best way to Execute
  1. Break your ideas and strategies into small and fast experiments first. Keep on testing and improving
  2. Implement your concepts and ideas in smaller scale experiments first before you expand to larger scale.
  3. Iterate and Improve

When you do these three things you are learning towards a larger goal.

  1. Choose better people than yourself when you build a Team
  1. Maintain Positive, determined, persistent and curious attitude.
  1. Be Fast

As the list cannot be too exhaustive would you like to add anything?

Any comments?

Thank you very much

Mike Mastroyiannis is Business, Management & Executive Coach and Consultant for among others Exponentially Disruptive Innovations. He has served as CEO of business units in Multinationals, founded or lead start-ups and serves in advisory boards. He can be reached through LinkedIn or email at mike@tenx2.com