From Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg to Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, most of the most powerful entrepreneurs of the 21st century have had one thing in common – tech. However, with the exception of Elon Musk, most of the major tech entrepreneurs were not great technological minds and they were more akin to artists the scientists. Indeed, whilst it certainly helps to have a good head on your shoulders and a working knowledge of your chosen sector, modern tech entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily about the knowledge; it’s about the ideas.
The Ideas Man – The first rule of coming up with any profitable idea is to spot an absence in the world and fill it. Look for something that the world needs and fill that void. Of course, some might argue that the idea is the hardest part, but that’s where all tech empires start. There will, however, be times where you have no idea what everyone around you is talking about, so you’ll also need…
The Brains – We’ve all had those moments where we think we’ve struck onto a world-changing idea only to give up on it when we realise we don’t have the means or the brains to make it a reality. That’s where you need a partner. Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak design the tech whilst he built the brand and became the public face of the company. It’s a tried and tested formula.
Be Vocal – Once you’ve patented your first big ideas, don’t keep them hidden. Get out there with your idea and don’t be afraid to be laughed at. Not everyone understands or appreciates true genius, even when it’s staring them in the face.
Go Strong – Ultimately, you should always embrace your strengths, whatever they might be. If you’re good with people, use those skills to get investment for your company; if you have a lot of knowledge of the industry, use that to your advantage. The real skill any entrepreneur needs to develop, however, is the skills of the salesman.
The Right Team – At a certain point, just the two of you won’t be enough to keep you afloat and you’re going to need a decent team behind you. Offer competitive salaries and if you can’t afford to pay a decent salary consider offering ownership stakes in the business instead. This will also make them feel more like they truly belong and will give them an added incentive to make the business work.
The Funding – We can’t all be blessed with wealthy parents that will finance our every whim, but even if you are not lucky enough to be independently wealthy, there are routes to consider. Crowd-funding is a legitimate option through sites such as Kickstart, or you could take out a business credit card from Liberis with no APR and the ability to pay back only when the money starts rolling in.
Be a Leader – To be a great leader, you’re going to need to single in on your vision and treat your employees with respect. Also, remain flexible and don’t stand still with one idea. You don’t have to be a tech expert to lead a tech empire, but you do need to know how to lead your team.
Do Your Research – If all else fails, watch Silicon Valley. It’s a deceptively smart show that manages to accurately capture the trials and tribulations faced by most young entrepreneurs in the tech game. It’s not always pretty, but the reward could be not only a career but a legacy!