The following points might sound cliched but, these are the points we end up discussing when I have discussions with an early-stage startup

— You don’t start a venture because you want to join the startup bandwagon for the sake of it. For every successful startup, company, or product, the underlying reason for the success is “It addresses a Customer need”. If you are unable to identify a need, your solution will never resonate with the customer. Do not play the catch-up game.

— During many of my mentoring sessions I hear ”The plan” from the other side. “I intend to work for 3 years, gain experience and then start my venture in 5 years”. My sincere advice to you all – there is nothing called as a right time, rather you should focus on starting your venture ‘On-Time”. Please do not wait for all the stars to align before you start your venture. Customer needs keep changing and there is no point in launching your product in the market when the need no longer exists

— Customer is the king – remember that all these technological trends have also had a huge change in the way customer behaves. Customer loyalty is thing of the past. Customers are here to take the service or use products as long as it meets their requirement or need. If you are not hearing from your customer regularly, you are most likely to end up losing your customer to a new competitor on the horizon

— And finally, keep innovating. Innovation never stops. Some of the biggest companies were not taken down by their top competitor, but by a relatively unknown company (most likely a startup) that changed the rules of engagement. The moment they started focusing on their competition alone, they started to limit themselves on innovation, and at the horizon was a company that quietly was understanding the changing customer need and carving out a new path.