Tech startups are becoming more and more prominent these days as new technology and innovations such as blockchain and artificial intelligence enable new applications and devices that are able to revolutionize industries and businesses across the globe. They have caught the attention of large venture capital firms all over the world and billions in funding are poured into them to see who will emerge as the next unicorn. Tech entrepreneurs are indeed a driving force in the startup scene, and while many success stories of their achievements abound, there are plenty more that have sunk and failed to take off.
For tech and engineering startups, sometimes they become so enamored and focused on the engineering or development tasks that they end up neglecting the other important, vital necessities of the company such as fundraising, customer needs, business development and growth. Tech entrepreneurs and founders need to step out of their comfort zone and understand that there’s much more to running a tech startup than just engineering and designing a polished product, no matter how potentially revolutionary it may be. For them, it is likely that engineering or coding is their forte so they tend to focus on the things that they excel in, and there is nothing wrong with that. To round out the tech startup, they may upskill themselves or find other co-founders that can bring the required expertise and experience to the table, such as marketing and business development skills.
Sometimes, a tech entrepreneur is struck by a moment of brilliance and decides to start developing the product or service right away. Either that, or they may spend a significant amount of time and effort on developing the product with the expectation that it will sell as soon as it is launched. However, once the product is put to market, there is no demand for it and the startup fails. The mistake made here is that the startups did not do their homework of market research beforehand. It is critical for startups to get a proper understanding of the market needs and conditions before developing the technology or product.
Tech entrepreneurs should meet any and all potential clients and customers to better understand their needs and get a clearer picture of their expectations and views on new and existing products. After that, they are then better informed to figure out the value proposition for their products as well as how it fulfills the needs of customers and what motivations drive them to purchase it. Additionally, tech startups should not neglect identifying and understanding their competitors, and should do the proper research on their competitors’ products and services to gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
Since tech startups will usually operate in the intellectual property (IP) space, they must ensure that their current products and innovations do not violate any company or business’ existing IP. Quite often a tech startup may overlook intellectual property and proceed with the development of a product only to get sued by another company, which sinks the startup as they are prevented from selling their product and incur large legal costs. It is therefore recommended that tech startups employ the services of a patent attorney to regularly perform IP audits during specific milestones, such as when starting the development of a new product, adding key features to a product, or when making alterations to existing features and functions. Of course, it goes without saying that tech startups should also file patents to protect their own IP.
Tech startups are rising around the world, bringing with them new technologies and innovations that can potentially bring much benefit and improvement to businesses and organizations. With a proper understanding of some of the mistakes that tech startups make and how to avoid them, these startups are better prepared to face the trials and tribulations that they will encounter on their way to achieving success.