Startup founders and their organizations are driven mostly by the need to create solutions for customers. And that is how most startups become successful – by providing solutions to a specific market. But what happens if the customer and a startup do not have a complete understanding of each other. What could happen?

There is no better way to dramatize that,  than from this scene from the movie Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray. No further descriptions to prevent spoilers. Just watch, let the conversation unfold, because the lesson is there, folks.

What actually makes the scene funny is how the interpreter translates the director’s instruction to Bill Murray. Now, I don’t know Japanese, but just by basing on the director’s dialogue, I am pretty sure that his instructions / message was more than what the interpreter says. Unfortunately for Bill, he simply “trusts” that his interpreter is accurately conveying the instructions


Getting back to Startups. This is why entrepreneurs and startup founders are advised, in fact – literally pushed – to get out of the building, to know first hand what their customers want, understand the market problems, so they can successfully provide solutions that will inevitably help their business venture succeed. Now, this  scene may be a too literal example of speaking the same language, but it does provide an accurate scenario on the importance of knowing your customer and speaking their language to understand their wants and needs.


So if you’re startup idea is set to solve problems in the farming and agriculture sector, then go out and talk to farmers. Learn their jargon, know the lifestyle. Understand every detail.  If you are trying to solve a problem in the medical field, then immerse yourself with the customers. That goes for different sectors


Always remember that startups fail not because of product development, but rather due to the lack of customers. And the lack of customers come from not understanding your market well. If you know your market well, and you speak the same language as your customers – then product development should be easy, and your startup’s success is inevitable.

Posted in Startup Lessons on November 20, 2013   0


In this article, I’d like to share a little clip from the late Steve Jobs on his rules for success. This is by far, the simplest rules ever discussed on achieving success – whether personal or business.


Do what you love. It’s as simple as that. If you’re doing something that’s within your core – your passion, then it’s not going to be work for you. Ask Yourself – Is this what I really want to be doing with my time? If not, then keep searching for that “thing” that keeps you excited and interested the whole time.

If you’re starting a startup, the main goal is to have a scalable business model that works, and to provide a service that offers solutions to a certain market. At it’s core -  the product or service is something that you love.

Have a Great Team Behind You

Startup founders and entrepreneurs usually have the great vision for the company. But in order to take that vision from an idea to a tangible product, you need help in several areas. It’s nice if you have the necessary skills to code, to have a business background to do plans and strategies and communication skills to present. But doing all of it requires time and effort, and going it alone will probably lead you to more wasted time.

Just as Steve Jobs said, surround yourself with a team of great people. Take a look at what he did at Apple. The guy obviously have the vision for the products they were creating, but he had an awesome team of engineers, designers, developers and marketers to back him up and  pull it off.

And the inspiring thing about it is that, even though Steve Jobs is gone, his system and team still operates exactly how he would have it. Still churning out innovative products like the new Power Mac and the recently launched iPhone 5c and 5s.

The Perfect Formula: Passionate Team

Now this is probably the best scenario for any startup – having a team that shares the same level of vision, passion and dedication of it’s founder. This combination can and will provide excellent results.



Posted in Startup Lessons on October 13, 2013   0