Being an entrepreneur is being brave. Standing alone, believing in one’s idea, and fighting the established world with it.
TAT was founded by six friend (me one of them) who didn’t want to be employed and “shattered” as a group. We also had a feeling that we could make a difference, since many established companies seemed so slow and uninventive. We had no business plan, no idea, everything shaped itself along its way - with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears invested.
It is a good world for entrepreneurs, because it is not perfect. There are unlimited amount of businesses that could be created - improving the existing ideas or disrupting them with new. Improvement can be many things - quality, price, convenience - the latter often very overseen as many create technology/products but few strive to make it easy to use.
As an entrepreneur you have to dedicate yourself to your idea if it should fly. Some entrepreneurs “can’t stop themselves” or don’t like finishing but only starting.
When you start, a lot of people (including yourself) will doubt and 1) see competition, 2) the problem as solved, or 3) don’t think you will make it. These people won’t help you develop your idea. Listen, try to improve, and show the world that you were right.
A lot of people I meet don’t want to talk about their ideas as they are afraid someone might steal them. But the complexity and innovation does not lie in the idea - but the execution - the team, the time, the love invested. So ask for help and discuss your ideas.
Many entrepreneurs are good sales people, but few actually invest enough in it (as we love the product and want to “perfect” it). 1) Sell and meet customers (too) early! 2) Invest 2-4 times as much in sales (sales, marketing, “packaging”, pre-sales, ...) as in product development.
The most difficult thing I think is that the process from idea requires four different people/roles - the innovator (loves to solve new problems), the entrepreneur (loves to change the world and often break “rules”/the establishment), the leader (loves to gather people to work together towards the vision and goals), and the manager (loves to optimize the business in revenue, profitability, and minimize risk). Few people are schizophrenic enough to handle all these, but becomes a roadblock for growth. Hire these people, make them your boss. And succeed. TAT employed our first CFO after a year, our CTO in three, VP Sales in four, and CEO in five. All founders are still in the company, but working either in production or with new products or innovation - i.e. what we are best at.
1. “The brave man is not he
who does not feel afraid, but
he who conquers that fear”