This article is written by Munira Hussein, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
When Jeff Hoffman joined college, he was couldn’t afford the fees. The easy way out was to drop out but not for Jeff. He believes that if you want something bad enough, you must be willing to do everything for it. Think of that one thing or the few things that you have always wanted. How bad do you want it? How much are you willing to do for it?
There is no secret to success. It is information that is accessible to everyone and that is discipline to work hard and stick to something to the finish. When you are at a job you do not like where all you do is write reports that will make the general manager happy, you are wasting your life. If you have no idea where to start, begin by solving real problems every day.
Jeff’s first startup was a tech company even though he had no idea about technology. They created the first ever booking systems. He then sold the company to American Express. He had no clue about technology but he was determined to make it work. The secret is to work and not to look for the secret. There is no secret to success. It is hard work and creating something that someone wants and building value. Focus on something that someone in the world cares about and give it to them.
You cannot design the best solutions sitting in the office. When doing that, you design a product and push it to customers and hope that they like it. There are chances that your product might be unacceptable. If you have an idea, find the people that you are going to sell to and ask them if they like it. Your friends’ and relatives’ opinions do not matter unless they are buying the product. Spend time with whoever your customer is. Find out what they want.
Don’t suggest things for a product that you will not use. Your team should spend time out of office and ask the potential users of your product. Make it easy for people to say they hate your product so that you can know how to make it better. Make yourself accessible to the customer by being available and listening to suggestions. Do not listen to the wrong people who are not the users of the product you are creating. The customer understands and if you listen, you have a product. Let the customers tell you what they want. Find a product that changes at least one thing that makes your customer’s life miserable. Remember, your job is not to build a product, it is to make your customer’s life easy.
Sometimes you do not know who the customers are, other times you do not know where to find them. You have a higher chance of succeeding if you know who your customers are. If you don’t, change the product to a product whose customers you know.