Beginnings of Success
By: Brian Magnosi 07/10/2015
When starting a new business, advice is your greatest ally. When first starting out, we often times are not as knowledgeable as we would hope to be. However, we do know that other people have been in the same situation that we are now. Asking for and seeking advice is one of the surest ways to give your business that special edge. Through advice, whether it be from friends, colleagues or mentors, we are able to learn from what others, such as where they went wrong, or what lead them to success. These fifteen companies below were kind enough to give their best pieces of advice, so check it out and take a few pointers!
1. MarkO 89
MarkO allows you to keep everything straight in just three simple steps. You can relax and forget about upcoming tasks then MarkO will remember! MarkO even allows you to share tasks with friends, family, and colleagues. Getting stuff done has never been more fun!
MarkO Co-founder, Nino Karas, shared, “You really have to be committed. To really believe that this will succeed and are willing to do the hard work. You’ve got to be excited and addicted to your idea.” MarkO is available for download on the App Store or Play Store.
2. TradingView 44
TradingView has all the charting tools you need to share and view trading ideas while being easy and intuitive for beginners, and powerful enough for advanced chartists. They have real time data and browser-based charts let you do your research from anywhere, since there are no installations or complex setups.
TradingView Co-founder, Stan Bokov, shared, “If you have an opportunity to join an accelerator do it! You may not think meeting new people will do much for you, but often you’ll meet others that you would otherwise never have been able to which can really open up so many doors for you. Also, be around other like minded individuals and have a network of both advisors and other entrepreneurs.”
3. Wonderflow 31
Wonderflow is a fast growing startup that has developed technology used by Fortune 500 companies to drive successful product innovation. They believe that a core team is their secret sauce, roots, and tomorrow. Co-Founder of Wonderflow, Riccardo Osti, shared this advice, “ Focus is the most important thing. Start up entrepreneurs have lots of ideas before bringing them to the market. Talk to customers as soon as you can and really listen to what they say. Sometimes you have to change your product to fit your client’s needs and be open to that.”
4. Sverve 24
Co-founder of Sverve, Vikas Gupta, advises “not to get married to your idea. Ideas change; you may have to change and you may have to pivot. You have to create fast and let your users give you honest feedback and then make the necessary changes and be persistent. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Give yourself 1000 days. That’s when you should plan on break even by the end of three years. When you look for growth, profitability is not the point. If you want to grow the business, then profitability cannot be the focus in the short term.”
Sverve’s mission is to connect influencers and businesses for win-win partnerships in order to understand both sides of the table. They know how important and challenging it is for growing businesses and niche influencers to find each other, so they like to bring transparency to the industry. By doing so, Sverve helps talented content creators come out of the shadows and into the influencer spotlight in order to make it easy and affordable for businesses to find and work with them.
5. Shinesty 20
Shinesty brings customers the most outlandish collection of clothing the world has ever seen. Whether you are searching for a rare retro piece, enough neon to blind the 80s, or simply something that would make Chuck Norris weep with pride, Shinesty is there to help.
Shinesty Co-founder, Chris White, shared, “If you want to start a company, the best chance of success is to do cross your talents with what you are good at and love. If you don’t, you won’t be able to stand the test of working eighteen hour days. Work for a company whose product or brand you love.”
6. Likeable Local 20
Likeable Local is the most intelligent social media solution for businesses. Their main goal is to help businesses build, engage, and grow through social media. They help thousands of small businesses access their social media success.
Likeable Local Founder, Dave Kerpen, gave this advice: “To be most successful, entrepreneurs can surround themselves with A-Players, the best, brightest, and most capable people. This is important in two ways: First, your leadership team needs to be filled by the right people in the right seats. Next, surround yourself with the best Advisory Board or Board of Directors that you can, with experts from your industry as well as the best finance and legal minds.
7. Undeveloped 17
Undeveloped is a marketplace for domain names that allows you to buy and sell domains simply and transparently. After being in the domain industry for over eight years, Undeveloped’s mission is to inspire open and transparent practices in domain trading, and make undeveloped domains visible and accessible to everyone.
Co-founder, Reza Sardeha, shared “having the right guys from day one in the founding team is critical. Team energy level is crucial too. Also, hiring people that have the right fit for the company culture...way more laser focused. Be careful of not getting trapped in your own bubble.”
8. Ramen 14
Ramen is a product manager’s best friend. They help teams track the answer to the two most important questions they face: Is our vision aligned with our customers’ needs and are the products and features we’re shipping living up to expectations? Rame is a software platform that provides a new way to collect, organize, and analyze all the information you need to really understand your users.
Ramen Co-founder, Ryan Angilly, shared, “Take all those little quips and quotes you see on Twitter with a grain of salt. Those short pieces of advice may not apply to the context of what you’re doing. Whenever you’re meeting with someone you should always end asking if they know someone else that may be a good resource.”
9. iResult 7
iResult was created to solve one problem - making data more accessible to education leaders. They make it possible for anyone in a school district to operate on real, actionable information from a single source of truth. They also allow for professionals to connect with each other and drive data discussions in real-time.
Dawn Verdick, the Founder and CEO of iResult, shared “I’ve had one core leadership philosophy or guiding principle I’ve operated from as an entrepreneur for the past twenty-five years or so. You don’t have to know how to do everything - you just need to know how to get things done. Understand your strengths, have the confidence to surround yourself with people who can compliment your strengths, then identify your goals as a team. No one succeeds by doing everything on their own. I believe in inspiring, empowering, and leading by example - it’s totally a team effort. It’s 99.9% of the equation. The other 0.1% is a great idea.”
10. Tinfoil Security 5
Tinfoil Security is a simple, developer-friendly service that allows you to scan your website for vulnerabilities and fix them quickly and easily with a team of experts who have an extensive background in security across many organizations. They focus on creating simple, usable security products while providing the best security on the market.
Michael Borohovski, the Co-founder of Tinfoil Security says, “Trust your gut. Though I’m an engineer who tries to make decisions based on sound reasoning and logic, inevitably we have learned to trust our gut instincts. This has happened with recruitment and the hiring process and so on. Start ups and small businesses tend to be the least prepared against cyber attacks, so it’s important to stay up on your internet security.”
11. Campus Bubble 2
Campus Bubble is passionate about improving campus engagement through simple, usable, student-friendly technology solutions. They are motivated daily to improve the college experience, and they push to do better everyday by building relationships with their supporters.
Campus Bubble CEO Spencer Barkoff shared this, “The biggest thing I’ve found is to not have an ego. Exert your confidence, be the leader, and sell your vision, but if you get wrapped up in your own ego you’re in trouble. Also, create a great advisory board that you can lean on. Everything in business is constantly changing, so don’t be set in your ways and be willing to receive advice from others.”
12. Arc9 1
Arc9 is composed of filmmakers, ad creators, vfx artists, and technologists who share a passion of simplifying the creative collaboration process. They take a holistic approach to the current painful process of creative collaboration workflow by providing an arsenal of tools to eliminate multiple file sharing devices, labor intensive conversions, and email chains.
Arc9’s Co-founder Melissa Davies-Barnett shares, “Do your research and ensure that you have the passion necessary to carry you through the ups and downs in the journey. There is no (hard and fast) formula for success that I know of - it’s driven by passion and good fortune.”
13. Bizible 1
Founded in 2011 by Aaron Bird, Peter Thompson, and Andy Turman, Bizible is pioneering the marketing attribution space by offering an easy to use software-as-a-service product to help online marketers answer the simple question of what is working in terms of real return-on-investment, revenue, and closed sales. Thier mission is to make every marketing dollar profitable for their customers.
Aaron Bird shared this advice:”The lean start-up process is really helpful - learn it and follow it. Making sure you’re solving the right problem is most important. You need to know that your product is something people will be willing to pay for and will solve legitimate problems. Producing a minimally viable product will prove that people will need the product, but you also need to know if you can sell it. Sell it before you build it.”
14. Moz 1
Founded in 2003, as an SEO consulting company then launching the first Pro app in 2007, Moz has stayed true to their core believes, TAGFEE. Their goal is for everything they cultivate to live up to the tenets of their TAGFEE code. They believe and acknowledge that they are entirely responsible for their own reputation, the level of success they achieve, the brand image they create, and the contributions they make to the marketing industry.
Moz CMO, Annette Promes, shared, “It’s about the people and relationships you make and the trust you build over time. There are really good and tough times in business, so the relationships and communication skills you build are by far and away the most important thing you do. Creating a culture that’s based on values and based on commitment is essential to helping you get through.”
15. Reduction Ready 1
Reduction Ready makes every bite of food full of flavor by bringing to the table fresh, high quality, well-seasoned, and prepared food. Their products, chefs, and home cooks is a quick and easy way to acquire and share in the culinary benefits of balancing flavor and adding richness to almost every recipe. Reduction Ready elevates a simple dish into a masterpiece.
Founder of Reduction Ready, Miles Branman, shared, “Always be learning. You can either get set in the ways you’re doing things, or be open to always be improving. Don’t ever be set in the way you’re doing things. There’s always something out there doing better, so look for ways to become more efficient and to get to your goals faster.”