The first week of the New York module is over.. We got an insight into a “New” New York, and some implications for global management were introduced.
Me and my classmates have seen many presentations from acknowledged teachers, entrepreneurs, CEO of startups and we visited many incubators and accelerators that help companies to start up.
Actually every lecture and presentation offered something what caught my attention. Ziv Navot from Paragraph covered in his presentation some important aspects of how to start up, and what he considers important when it comes to executing and idea and starting up: besides those obvious facts that you have to have a brilliant idea, you take into consideration timing and market conditions and so on, your team and your employees will be your ship flag for the first milestones of your business. Finding the appropriate people you can and would like to work with is on high importance.
Freedom and experimental learning are some of the key factors of entrepreneurship. This time will give you the possibility to create something new. Startups have the freedom to deliver things or work out things in a special, not ordinary way. He also mentioned that there will be two types of people in the future: the ones who tells the computer what to do, and ones to whom computers tell what to do. Very interesting way of thinking.
Ziv Navot’s ingredients for successful staring up:
– You have to be very driven to doing that something.
– Find a partner
– Build something people want
– Execute very quickly
– The hardest sale is always selling yourself
– Hug a customer every day
– If something is not right, it’s not right ( if investors have different view, etc.)
– Trust your instincts
– Work out every day
In NYU eLab we heard that usually 75% of startups fails and the biggest reason of failure is that companies are more focused on tech, than on customers. They don’t pay enough attention to what customers’ needs are, which problem they solve. If your product is like a toothbrush product that everybody uses twice a day, you are on the good track, but if not, think about what need-satisfying offering you have here.
The playbook is the following: find out customers’ needs, build something new around it, ask for funding, and not the other way around!
The story of “Rent a Runway” was interesting but in the same time quite problematic for me from business point of view.
So the main business model is that Rent a Runway buys the high-end designer cloths and rent them out for an affordable price for some days to customers who can not afford luxury clothes. With that move, the designer companies acquired new customers without decreasing their brand value, but increasing the brand equity and Rent a Runway generated money.
My main concern is that the brand designer’s move to get into this business does really not decrease their brand value for the long run? The main idea behind the high-end and luxury products is that NOT EVERYBODY can afford it, and therefore it makes a differentiation among those who have these products and those who don’t have. (Which I don’t say that is ok, it is just a matter of fact.) I consider the idea of renting out these clothes actually great, but how could designers be convinced to cooperate in this business?
My other concern is that this service could only survive in those global big cities where fashion, clothing and brands have historical strength and people care about their outfit / appearance so much that they would use this renting service. So, in my opinion, it would work in Hong Kong, in Shanghai, in Milan, or in Munich but not in Budapest.
According to Alejandro Crawford from Acceleration Group, you have to steroid your business model. Using the existing success stories as basis for the research to innovation will not work, it is not enough. The more knowledge you have to the market and to the technology, the more appropriate ecosystem you generate to yourself to succeed.
You had better if you try to think as an investor, look at what drives the value of investment opportunities and employ technological solutions that corresponds with the new, digital age.
According to Andreas Blank from Caliber, you need good timing and a good execution plan to start up successful. He mentioned that he also used the NYU Poly incubators for accelerating his business. Caliber is a messaging app to keep contact with your friends and businesses, LinkedIn contacts, and relevant work connections.
The CUSP presentation was one of the most interesting one for me. A representative from the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress introduced us the importance of having big data, and the importance of data collection, as a whole. In my opinion analysing the data and establishing big data analyser companies will be the next wave of startups. We can get a lot of information from various sources, we only have to analyse them and put them into a model to understand how our world operates and works. We, as customers share a lot of information about us, about our behaviors, about our drives, about our decisions; companies should just get it out from the system and analyze them. The only question is the ownership of the data…
All in all, New York city has got a strong portfolio of accelerators, incubators and training companies that help start ups to develop and execute their business idea. It’s an ideal place to be an entrepreneur and make dreams come true.