Insights from a turnaround and startup guy
By Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS
In today’s world, there are hundreds of things to think about when creating a new product or technology. Martin Seifert, CEO of Nufern, provided participants of OSA’s Innovation School tips on how to be successful in a new startup. He explained that success is measured differently based on the stated goals of the organization. If you are in the venture capital world, success shows itself in profitable growth and in the philanthropic world, success is based off your positive impact on the world. Knowing what metrics for the goals you are trying to accomplish is essential to defining your professional success.
With this, Seifert went on to define several success factors for young professionals:
||Martin Seifert mentoring an OSA Innovation School participant
- Finding the commercial potential: For this, you require a customer. Seifert noted that the customer component is most often overlooked. Technology alone does not make a business; you must have someone to sell too.
- A committed team: Your team must consist of passionate and dedicated people. When developing a product, things are constantly changing and rarely go exactly as planned. Forming a group of people who work well together, trust each other, share, and remain passionate is one of the best things you can do to ensure your success, in whatever way you measure it.
- Grow your global network: Seifert also brought up many challenges that innovators needed to keep in mind in today’s global world. Acquiring materials to build products, that are priced competitively, comes with both opportunities and challenges. Seifert pointed out that regulations are often barriers to market access, one that may not be well thought out in planning phases of many startups. Other barriers to market entry can include your customer base, competition, and your ability to adapt to change.
- Persistent technology: You can have a game changing idea, but if the lifetime of need for the product is shorter than the time frame to produce it, there is a big problem. It is always important to keep in mind the type of problem you are trying to solve. Is it more of a transient problem, one that has been called for by a large population, or one that the population doesn’t even know they need until they see it with their own eyes.
When talking about strategies, Seifert commented that “Hope is not a strategy.” There are three parts to a successful strategy, “developing, marketing, and sales. You must make something great, make people believe it’s great, and have a sales team to go out and sell it.”
Posted: 28 July 2017 by Michael Forkner, OSA & SPS | with 0 comments
The views expressed by guest contributors to the Discover OSA Blog are not those endorsed by The Optical Society.