In today’s world business and technology have drawn ever closer to each other. With this transition, a new class of entrepreneurs has arisen – The Techpreneurs. They form a subset of entrepreneurs and can be defined as those who manage to harvest technology and convert every seemingly minor opportunity into a successful commercial reality.
Techpreneurs successfully leverage high-end technology and advanced business practices to reinvent and reshape the society around them.
Like entrepreneurship, there is no pre-determined recipe to be a successful techpreneur. The only requisites are the ability to identify the real problems and the vision to transform them into business opportunities by judicious use of technology and refined business acumen.
Interestingly though, successful techpreneurs across the world do share certain traits and swear by certain best practices.
Of those, I am sharing my top 10 list which I consider necessary to become a successful techpreneur:
A techpreneur needs to be persistent. All great ideas have humble beginnings, but, it is only by unwaveringly pursuing an idea and fleshing it out repeatedly can one hope to actuate and transform it into a finished product. No matter how difficult this path may seem, one must stay true to it. Maintaining a positive attitude irrespective of the situation helps in garnering tools to take on the challenges.
Good techpreneurs must have deep technical grasp of their product and the underlying technology involved. Even though it is often the subject matter experts who will be developing the technology for the product, it will be your vision and understanding that will ultimately guide them.
A techpreneur should trust their intuitions. To be successful, a techpreneur must be able to intuitively visualize and harvest hidden opportunities in such scenarios where the rest of the world only sees impediments.
Strongly believe in your product. Be very clear about what unmet need you are trying to address. And, be ready to tread on unchartered territories to bring your product to life and make it grow. Having a risk-taking mindset serves techpreneurs well. One need only take a glance at some of the most successful techpreneurs of today, such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to reaffirm this.
It is very important for a techpreneur to clearly and accurately communicate the intended value propositions to all stakeholders – the target customers, firm’s investors and the team-members cum employees. Good communication can save time, effort and money. Not only must one regularly communicate with people looking to invest and vet your concept, but also with your team looking to grasp at the finer details of your product and execute your vision.
Resilience With Flexibility
Experiencing failures is a part and parcel of entrepreneurship. There are so many inherent uncertainties that a few setbacks are often unavoidable. However, what is important here is to learn from such experiences and take all measures not to repeat them. Overwhelmingly difficult situations do arise and at such junctures it will be imperative to maintain equanimity and self-control.
For example, when experiencing an extremely negative product reception from customers a techpreneur should be able to identify the lacunae and have the ability to change the product to improve performance and receptibility. Ability to find a way when everyone is lost is what differentiates a leader from a follower.
A good plan can take you far but plans often last till the battles commence. Once a company is off the ground and running, situations beyond control may arise from time to time. A good techpreneur needs to have the ability to assess such situations and modify the plans accordingly.
The Right Team
Team is integral to success of the idea. Companies and businesses die untimely deaths by having ill-advised recruitment and team building policies. A techpreneur must always focus on building a team of talented and hard-working people having complementary skills. The team-members should have faith in the vision and capabilities of the techpreneur and should be willing to work cohesively for greater good. The whole should be greater than the sum of its parts.
To be a successful techpreneur one needs to ensure that not only is the product or service of a good quality, but also, it is superior to the quality offered by its closest competitors in the market. Remember, consumers, buy a product when they see value in it, which is only possible when the product offers more than what they pay for it.
Work Work Work
Becoming a techpreneur demands unflinching dedication and hard work. Being at the helm demands that one has grasp over all myriad tasks ranging from company formation and raising investment, to recruiting and managing people, building a product and selling it, and managing financials. There are lots of unknowns which further complicates things.
Despite the qualities and concomitant abilities what many aspiring techpreneurs seldom realize is that becoming a techpreneur is not an end in itself. It is the beginning of an experience and a journey to enjoy and relish.