As the world becomes more and more digital, entrepreneurs (from the aspiring to the serial) become equally as empowered. Accessing target markets, building customer loyalty, providing services, shipping products, and closely monitoring competitors are all aspects of enterprise that have become significantly easier thanks to technology.
Despite all the advances -- and all the advantages that modern entrepreneurs have -- one major challenge to starting a business remains unchanged: knowing what business to start.
What makes an idea valuable? How do you know if your business plans will soar -- or flop? In search of the ultimate advice on this topic, I spoke with someone who knows a thing or two about it, having started his first business at age 21, then sold it for $100 million at 25.
Eyal Gruner is Founder & CEO of Cynet, a security platform that protects organizations from breaches and unifies all aspects of protection in a single interface.
Gruner says there's a simple path to entrepreneurial success.
Gruner's speciality is cyber-security, but his advice applies to businesses in any industry, which points to its reliability -- whatever fundamental quality makes one company worth investing in should do the same for every other. Gruner seemingly has that quality nailed down. After selling his first creation, Versafe, for $100M, he's gone on to raise over $20M for his current company, Cynet. According to the CEO, this is the one thing entrepreneurs should be focused on:
The key to a good business lies in its potential for disruption.
It really couldn't be more obvious, could it? When you look at companies that have been wildly successful during the digital revolution, disruption is the most easily identifiable common thread among them. Uber and Lyft disrupted transportation, Airbnb disrupted hospitality, eBay and Amazon disrupted shopping -- all in radical ways. Each did so by bringing something to market that didn't yet exist.
In the case of Cynet, Gruner managed this feat by identifying two basic pieces of information. First, spending on cybersecurity for large organizations was increasing annually, and second, according to research, that wasn't translating to better security.
This led Gruner to the idea for a new platform, whose disruptive ability would come in the form of a totally unique way of dealing with digital threats. Cynet has accomplished that vision by providing a single, unified interface for cybersecurity, with the goal of making disparate, difficult-to-manage security stacks obsolete.
Avoiding saturated markets is common advice -- and very wrong.
The primary question to ask is, "does my product have disruptive potential?" Gruner suggests that saturated markets get a bad rap. Drawing from his own entrepreneurial success, he says that one reason markets become hyper-saturated is that in the face of a problem (for instance, that of cybersecurity threats) organizations want to believe in a clear solution, leading many new players to try and be the one who actually finds it.
In that sense, a saturated market can actually be a sign of an area ripe for disruption. Despite seemingly flying in the face of traditional advice, this one tip could be hugely helpful for entrepreneurs.
In fact, maybe we should take a break from the tired title of "entrepreneur" and aim for something a little sleeker and simplified -- serial disruptors.