Founding a successful startup is difficult. But the ones that succeed tend to have certain elements in common. Today, Ignitia examines four traits consistent among high-performing startups.
They’re Customer Driven
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. As such, great startups value their customers above almost anything else. In order to keep customers happy, a company must know everything about them. Great startups do their homework and listen. The best startups adapt to the needs of their customers and develop strategies with their customers in mind.
The founders of the most successful startups are all insanely passionate about their ideas. It is this excitement and energy that gives founders the ability to weather the tough times. Like Twitch founder Justin Kahn, when a company founder is so excited by their idea that every person they talk to becomes equally excited about it, then you really have something. This attitude is contagious and spreads to employees, investors, and customers alike. Starting a successful company takes many months of tireless work. During these times it is the passion for the idea that will see you through.
They Care About Culture
Successful startups almost always establish positive cultures that motivate their employees. Traditionally, the companies that perform best know why they exist and what they are trying to achieve. This all speaks to a company’s culture. The best companies find the most passionate and excited employee to match the founder’s vision. Employees need to feel as though they are a part of something bigger than themselves and they have to be given the right environment to succeed. This is all created by a company’s culture; an atmosphere of success and the ability to establish a winning mindset. When the purpose and mission of a company are clearly stated, a culture of winning can be built. This helps to keep employees engaged and happy and ultimately performing their best work.
All successful startups have a laser focus. As mentioned above, employees must be crystal clear on what your company stands for. So should the company. To succeed a company should focus on the one thing they do well. According to Y-Combinator founder Paul Graham, “The most important things for startups to do is to focus. Because there’s so many things you could be doing. One of them is the most important. You should be doing that. And not any of the others.”
In the startup world, when running with a skeleton crew it can be very easy to feel the need to take on more responsibilities than one can handle. As such, it can be easy to lose sight of the company focus. Again according to Paul Graham, “Though the immediate cause of death in a startup tends to be running out of money, the underlying cause is usually lack of focus.” Get clear on what you are doing and stay true to that path until you arrive at your destination. The only way to do this is with consistent management and a clear company mission statement.