It’s the neverending debate among entrepreneurs--what’s the best way to build a business? That’s something all founders struggle with and ultimately have their opinions on. There’s something particularly interesting when one dives a bit deeper into the discussion however, it’s more a question of personality than fact and theory and herein is where so many business books and argumentative entrepreneurs miss the mark entirely.
Creative Kickstarters and Killer Businesses
As host of Art of the Kickstart I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with some of the best, brightest and most successful startups in crowdfunding. I’ve delved into the stories and strategies of Kickstarter champs and tried to share just what made these businesses shine. And after over 100 interviews something surfaced which was both interesting and enlightening. You see, in every episode I’ve asked what’s the top tip or piece of advice aspiring entrepreneurs and crowdfunders need to hear to radically transform their business. Well unquestioningly the most popular replies have centered directly around the entrepreneur themselves – follow your passion, do what love, scratch your own itch… These are the things successful startup founders, specifically crowdfunders, consistently hold as the core of their success. And this flies in the face of everything conventional business advises. Rather than analyzing markets, researching keywords and trends and inserting yourself into the value chain, Kickstarters see results in an entirely different way. How can that be?
Inventors and Entrepreneurs
Your grandma got it right growing up--you’re special, you are one of a kind. Blanket advice is BS without looking at the person. And in the world of business there are two distinctively different individuals at play: the inventor and the entrepreneur. And for most of us, we’re a combination of the two. Crowdfunding though at its core is an arena of creatives. There’s vastly more inventors than entrepreneurs on the platform--it’s early adopters vs. mass market businessmen (for mass appeal products Amazon is ideal, for more, check out Amazooka to get started). Those are the individuals sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo were originally built to serve. More recently though crowdfunding’s been evolving. With the proven success of creators spurring growth, the entrepreneurs and corporations are catching on and racing to join the wave of crowdfunded growth.
Understanding Your Strengths
In business there’s more than your fair share of competition--the question of course: what sets you apart? What is your unique strength, your unfair advantage that allows you to compete. Equally important though are your weaknesses. And inventors thrive on creativity--new and original thoughts, challenges and products constantly push them to improve. And herein lies the innovation engine that is crowdfunding. With thousands of ideators across the globe being brought online and offering up a vast array of original, awesome products, the world is changing invariably for the better. There’s a major caveat though and that is execution. Sadly follow through is something idea people struggle with…it’s the inventive ADD syndrome – constantly creating and designing only to embark upon the next puzzle or challenge which fits our fancy. And it’s this free flow of ideas that’s cause many a Kickstarter to miss deadlines, fail to deliver or sadly stagnate in growth. Entrepreneurs on the other hand are polar opposites. These methodical, opportunity seizers understand the importance of profit. For them passion plays but a minor role with the true thrill being business growth and execution. Conversely however, entrepreneurs often struggle with the original. Burnout can be a major factor as well where passion for the project wanes and
The Best of Both Worlds
Wozniak and Jobs changed the world of computing, they did it by understanding the importance of roles and incredible execution. Their story is by no means unique. Entrepreneurs of every caliber have considered potential partnerships--some succeed, many fail. An interesting concept and one seen frequently in crowdfunding is the cooperation of passion and profit. From Art of the Kickstart alone, companies like runScribe, Nomiku, FlyKly--seriously successful, multi multi 6 figure campaigns are forged around the alliance of idea and execution. This is the perfect storm of crowdfunding. Whereas in many arenas passion plays but a small role in the success and sales of a company, on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, backers back the story and mission as much as an incredible product. The passion sells the product, builds the fan base and holds the startup together when times are tough. The execution fulfills the rewards, cash flows the company forward and creates staying power need for sustained success. So rather than arguing ideal way to build a business I challenge you to really understand yourself and suddenly the question won’t be as serious.