4 Qualities Every Successful Tech Startup Has

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Artem Petrov

29 Aug 2016 - 4 min read

A week hardly passes by without a successful tech startup making a buzz. But exactly what makes them stand out?

You cannot teach entrepreneurship or startup success, even though there are numerous great courses to introduce you to the business world. Y Combinator’s ‘How to Start a Startup’ is a great example. Make sure you check it out – that’s not a substitute for a business school, but that’s definitely worth the effort.

A Successful Tech Startup Embraces Change

Yes, your product has to be pretty, unique, memorable, cheap, and demographic-targeted to succeed.

There’s no denying that, but having a great product is only part of the equation.

Startup business success stories can be inspiring, but in the modern tech world, you have to run like hell to just remain where you are.

Managing change is tough. And risky. Your business ideas have to be validated, tested, developed and carefully managed. However, when done right, a few changes to the product strategy development process can make a product a lot more cost-effective and successful.

It’s not just about adding things, though: eliminating features too can help you improve the user experience and get more buyers for your products and services.

Readiness to make sacrifices is in the very core of the startup business mindset. Pulling the plug on something so dear to the heart never comes easy, though. Ever heard of minimal viable product (MVP?) The hardest part of having it is letting it go.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t come up with new ideas – that is something that happens naturally. But, as more and more companies are emerging in the technology sector, as a startup you will more likely succeed by introducing improvements to something that people are familiar with.

and takes (calculated) risks

Oh, the risks! In the startup business, they’re pretty much all around.

Tech ‘unicorns’ are not born, they are built with hard work in a risky industry. They have taken multiple risks along the way and properly managed them. No one says that was easy: there have been sacrifices and problems that seemed unsurpassable.

Even when a product gains tension with the customer, founders get increasingly facing risks. With time and (hopefully few) failures, comes the priceless experience.

A little bonus: successful startups are lean

The lean startup is all about nimbleness and speed.

Successful startups use the getting out of building approach and ask customers and partners for feedback on the business model, strategies, features. Then, they ‘do the homework’, revise previous assumptions, and start the cycle all over again. Being lean takes readiness to pivot from what’s not working.

Pivot is what brought repeat entrepreneur Stewart Butterfield from a video game project to Flickr, Mark Zuckerberg from ‘Hot or Not’ to Facebook!

A lean startup considers a waste any expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer. Do not spend precious time, effort, and money to something that’s not creating value for both you and your customers.

That’s easier said than done, though.

Persistence and determination

Building a great product takes time and dedication – that you can otherwise spend promoting the new and improved version of a product that is already in use.

Successful tech companies share the persistent willingness to adapt to market trends and demands. Put it simply, a software development company doesn’t abandon a product after releasing version one, just like mobile manufacturers don’t stop improving the features and hardware on their devices.

Keep in mind that to succeed as a startup tech company, you have to constantly research the customer pain-points and work out ways of addressing them. Study the developments that your competitors are involved with for insights on how to win the hearts of the customers.

Make sure to expand your product offerings to address the changing needs of your customers and the market. That could mean throwing away what you developed in the beginning and building a new model from scratch. That’s a matter of embracing the change, too.

Delivering a better and improved version of your product, based on your customers’ expectations, is crucial for flourishing for any startup tech company.

A Successful Tech Startup Recruits Great Talent

I’ve kept the most important point in the last: it always boils down to the people.

At the micro level, inside the startup itself, it’s all about energy, devotion, and productivity. The founders and first employees are the core team, especially at the tough times of doubt and peril.

Make sure to employ competent and knowledgeable tech enthusiasts who can contribute in making your business model a success. Look for the ones that are seeking to break out of the comfort zone and do not fear to face challenges when the project changes gears.

Passion. Stubborn determination. Necessity. That’s your three top drivers of a successful startup.

Growth and long-term success, requires considerable time, hard work and dedication.

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