Ruta Ulcinaite

Starting a Startup and the Importance of Listening to your Audience

What is the first step in creating a successful startup? Well according to Reid Hoffman and his podcast Masters of Scale, it is to look and look and look for your big idea, and then act on it! A lot of people can think of all these great, successful ideas in their minds. However, not all of these people will act on those ideas, and that’s what separates the good entrepreneurs from the bad.

For Hoffman these ideas don’t always come naturally, so you have to take initiative and actively look for gaps in the world that your ideas, inventions and innovations could fill.

You need unwavering persistence for your idea to succeed. You must seek out feedback, listen to your audience, persist through the setbacks and know that your journey to success will be a long and grueling one. But in the end you may just be the next Sara Blakely. Blakely had no background in fashion or business but created the business empire Spanx – my favorite little trick for hiding my belly and my underwear lines (thank you Sara you lifesaver).

Sara Blakely via her Facebook

Blakely listened to her audience and it made her a self-made billionaire. 

She found herself cutting off the bottom part of her pantyhose and wearing just the upper part to hide her underwear lines when she wore something shape hugging at parties. Women were wanting and demanding a product like this but no one acted on creating such a thing! Blakely acted on her one small idea and it turned into the big idea that is now Spanx.

Paul Graham, the author of How to Get Startup Ideas, has a bit of a different approach to creating the next big thing.

Graham claims that the best start up ideas arise organically and are something the founders themselves want, something the founders themselves can build and something the founders realize is worth doing.

Graham states that a lot of times founders create a startup that nobody really wants. He himself made something that he thought was genius but realized there was no market and no demand for it. You have to keep other people in mind while creating a startup and drop your personal ego if necessary.

At the end of the day Graham claims that you have to live in the future and build what’s missing. The process may not be that sexy and it may be very demanding, but with the right attitude the best ideas will organically come to you and really take off.

The Breaking News article focused on the changing journalism field and how disruptive innovation provides the framework to understanding businesses. In this article we really see how journalism is changing and how we as journalists can adapt and continue to upkeep such an important part within our democracy.

The authors noted that we have to constantly think ahead and think towards the future. If the process of journalism is changing, we must change along with it.

A lot of newsrooms are too focused on their businesses, ratings and other financial instincts when the only thing that really matters in journalism is the audience. Pay attention to the demands of your audience and everything else will fall into place.

I agree and understand the importance of listening to your audience and creating for your specific audience. Writing to a specific audience is what has helped me succeed as a journalist. It is also what helps smart entrepreneurs get their startup ideas rolling. The importance of your audience should never be understated – it is the one thing that can take you and your business to the next level.

2 thoughts on “Starting a Startup and the Importance of Listening to your Audience

  1. Great piece! I appreciate the way you tied journalism skills into those of an entrepreneur. For example, you say that journalists are responsible for creating content for specific audiences, as are entrepreneurs. Perhaps we all have more in common than we think! I think our creativity and communication skills can also aid our success, and that is something that makes me very optimistic about the future of our industry. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re right that entrepreneurs and journalists are similar in that they use creativity in everyday life. Once we get past the mental block of creating something, we might be more able to feel comfortable identifying our solvable problems. But, like I said in my blog post, I’m terrified of having to come up with an important, life-changing idea. All of the examples you note seem so major! I just hope any idea I have is worth even a tiny fraction of the Spanx idea.

    Liked by 1 person

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