I decided to share with you my drafting of a fresh version of High Tech Startup. Feel free to comment as the drafting progresses. I look forward to your comments. They will make it a better tool for startup people who want to change the world.
You asked for it – here it is: the updated version of High Tech Start Up. Just like the first edition, this one is especially crafted for people eager in their quest to convert an idea into an amazing world-class new enterprise – but now it has a new perspective: It is aimed at helping you build an unfair competitive advantage so you can create an incredible new enterprise in the new age of intense global startup competition.
This edition is in response to requests from readers, students, educators, entrepreneurs and investors from around the world. To each of you, I am grateful. Your feedback has led to this update. It is about you and your stories, I am your scribe.
Since this book’s last update in 2000, much has happened to the startup world, including entrepreneurship bursting out in nearly every country in the world, most notably in Asia, and the global financial crisis of 2008. I began wondering; “Have we entered a new era? What else has changed that makes a big difference to a potential startup founder contemplating doing a startup?” So I set off to find out what had happened.
When I concluded my research, I was struck by how much had not changed: the same basic lessons on the principles and methods that had fueled successful Silicon Valley and the Internet boom startups were working for today’s startups in Shanghai as well as in San Paulo and Silicon Valley, with few significant alterations and additions.
But in the few changes there were some outstanding elements. They are very new and different. They have significant consequences for planning to do a startup.
So let’s get started. Here is a summary of what my research found most notable in the current era of high tech startups:
· There are no longer any unique ideas for a startup. You can be sure that as fast as you think up an idea, several others on this globe are already working on it. In fact, right now many others are already working on exactly what you are thinking about doing. Here is one example: I calculated that about forty percent of my Cornell University Masters and PhD student’s class projects become reality by someone – the student or someone else – within three years. The Internet conveys so much information so fast that you cannot expect your idea to remain original for long (if it ever was). There are no more safe harbors in any country. No more uncontested windows of opportunity for your idea. The consequence is that today what counts is not your initial idea, but rather what you do with your initial idea.
· Intensity of startup competition has sharply risen. Rapid proliferation of innovation has forced leaders of new enterprises to be more deliberate, quicker and increasingly forceful in employing marketing and other elements of power to build a competitive advantage that is so strong that your competition complains “It is unfair!” Leaning on technology or an early launch of the first product is no longer sufficient to win, particularly in the face of the increasingly large numbers of competitors from anywhere in the world that you can expect to appear in your market shortly after (or before) you launch your first product.
MORE TO COME TOMORROW