There are probably hundreds of articles and books on how to make your tech startup successful. Has anybody actually found a universal formula to achieve that? Don’t think so.
In this article, we won’t even try to convince you that such a formula exists. What we will do is provide you with common traits that successful and fast-growing tech companies have in common.
#1 A market size large enough to bring success
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is launching startups in small markets expecting lower competition. We’re not talking about a market size measuring in the billions. Not at all. Rather, does the market size allow you to identify who your customers are, how many of them there are, and what the cost of reaching and attracting them is? Some companies don’t get traction just because they are not clear on who their potential clients and customers are and what value they can offer them.
#2 Strong leadership
To shake things up, leaders should combine a tangible strategic vision with persistence. Yet while leadership is crucial, the ability to unite people who will collaborate on one mission that drives the business forward is also a skill a tech professional should have. ‘Collaboration’ has been in vogue recently, and it’s important to understand that it’s much more than just open spaces or Ping-Pong tables. Collaboration is about fostering a culture of self-organization, where teams come together to work on common goals.
Under strong leadership we also mean managers who act as enablers, connectors and collaborators, providing a clear business vision and regular feedback about progress to the rest of the team. What truly inspires people within a company is watching their leader focus on a crystal-clear mission and pivot the business accordingly.
Your product can be unique, memorable, and problem-solving. There’s no denying that, but having a great product doesn’t guarantee success. In the modern tech world, you have to manage change which is tough and unavoidable. Most successful startup founders know for sure that it’s ‘adapt or die’.
As long as technology and customers are progressing, so should your businesses. If your business isn’t able to adapt to the constant change, you’ll lose the competitive edge.
#4 Taking calculated risks
In the startup business, risks are pretty much all around. The key is to take calculated risks that minimize negative outcomes.
Risks are not equal. There is a big difference between foolish risks and calculated risks. To succeed, you need to decipher one from the other.
A foolish risk is typically undertaken by entrepreneurs without taking into account the possible consequences. Such a risk can deliver a positive outcome, but you never know what’s actually waiting on the other end.
A calculated risk involves careful research to discover red flags and potential issues. Taking a calculated risk, an entrepreneur can anticipate potential mistakes and account for them. The results won’t always be positive, but at least you will know you did enough to know the chances of success and failure.
#5 Persistence and determination
Building a great product and prosperous company takes time and dedication. That’s why successful tech companies share the persistence and determination to adapt to market trends and customer demands. In simple terms, no company would abandon a product after releasing the first version or stop improving its features. To succeed as a startup tech company, you have to constantly be aware about customer pain-points and find ways to address them. As we’ve already mentioned, that’s a matter of embracing change, too. Delivering a better product with every new version based on data insights and customer expectations is crucial for making your tech startup flourish.
#6 The priority of scaling
When building their products, companies like Apple, Amazon or Google prioritized scale over what is regarded as “growth”. They became big by creating a successful product locally and then grew the company by building marketing activities, sales teams, and distribution channels. To get to the point of success, tech giants scaled their products and focused on quick product release to grow globally.
#7 A long leash given to employees
Successful companies work hard on identifying what motivates their employees. Employees in mission-driven companies usually don’t expect higher financial compensation. What is more important to them is being able to be involved in the process, create innovative products or services, and play a meaningful role in growing the business.
Successful companies invest a lot of resources in the growth of their teams to achieve greatness. They create space for their teams to develop new skills and approaches. It’s important to build a healthy culture and invest in the growth of the employees as company growth depends on how fast its employees grow.
The more autonomy employees get to make decisions, the more likely they will stick around. Formal organizational hierarchies and constraints do not motivate employees but dampen their motivation. Successful fast-growing companies set clear expectations around business and allow employees to define the best way to meet them.
The world’s greatest tech companies thrive in strong leadership, collaboration, and risk-taking. However, it’s hard for a single company to have it all. Here’s a key secret: successful companies always learn, adapt and change. Founders of such companies do not expect simple formulas or one-size-fits-all.