From listening to podcasts, to reading articles from hopeful entrepreneurs, I have come to the conclusion that the most important thing you can do for a startup is to think big. I’m not saying to eliminate your sense of reality. But I have found that if you truly believe in something you have to be all in – and the bigger the better.
After listening to a few episodes from StartUp Podcast, I learned that the “think big” mentality can take start ups a long way – but “thinking big” isn’t just about coming up with an awesome idea – it means transforming an idea into an unstoppable force.
As a journalist, I’m all about coming up with ideas. My creativity may be present, but I’m a little concerned when it comes towards the business side of things. In the episode How Not to Pitch a Billionare, Alex Blumberg explained that his journalism network was crucial to finding investors for his business. He was actually able to meet with a past investor from a story he published, and spent quite a bit of time preparing an explanation as to why his business was valuable.
Once he was able to identify a problem that his business would solve, he explained that his pitch needed more. In the episode Is Podcasting the Future or the Past, he explained that his pitch included personal stories, impressive data, advice from those around him, and most importantly: his ability to think big.
In the episode Startups Are a Risky Business, he explains that when thinking big, it’s important to stick with what you know. He also made a point to understand customer acquisition costs, and lifetime customer values, which were two components that he believed were essential to obtaining investors.
The part of this episode that really stood out to me was when he said, “If you’re unsuccessful, it usually means you didn’t want it enough”. Believe it or not, I totally agree. Thinking big is about ensuring that you do everything in your power to make your idea the best it can be. Whether it’s through building a network, or simply preparing your pitch, it’s important to always think about how it can be better, and how you will make that happen.
During the episode How to Divide an Imaginary Pie, we learn that it’s difficult to find the best way to divide a company, especially when investors join the mix. One thing that was present during this episode, among all the others, was the key factor of communication. From pitching, to negotiating stakes with investors, communication is crucial to the success of a start up – and that’s where our journalism skills come in handy.
Obviously, a start up can be risky. Nonetheless, my instinct says that it can be worth it with preparation, passion and a little bit of help from those around you.
3 thoughts on “It’s Time to Think Big”
I totally see what you mean about the quote: “If you’re unsuccessful, it usually means you didn’t want it enough.” The StartUp podcast is a great example of someone who wanted it so much that he dedicated immense amounts of time to its success. But he also proved that if you want something enough, you have to be willing to let the idea evolve and accept advice or suggestions from others. For example, Alex let others change the name. He accepted a business partner. He even considered changing it to a social platform for sharing audio stories instead of a studio. In the end, what make him successful was that he wanted it so much that he took advice from anywhere and everywhere.
Katie, I think you hit the nail on the head when you talk about a startup either failing or succeeding depending on the founder’s conviction, and I think that’s truly what it’s all about. If somebody thinks their idea, or invention, or whatever, is good enough, then people will go to any lengths to see that idea come to fruition.
I like how you pointed out that one of the keys to a successful startup is thinking big. While I was listening to the StartUp episodes, I was surprised that this was the majority of the feedback Blumberg was given when he pitched his idea. However, thinking big means that you have a plan for the future beyond the first few years and your idea can scale.