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"The best people need to be appropriately incentivised. I believe every employee should have share options so they think like an equity owner / shareholder. I set aside 20% of the original issued share capital for share options to give to employees and advisors."
Emmett Kilduff
Eagle Alpha
"It takes years of hard work and pain to be 'an overnight success'. Your future successes are based on your commitment to your idea, your willingness to get to the goal of your mission, on delivering the maximum of your possibilities at every step up the ladder of your success. Here are two rules to succeed: work your butt off and never give up."
Marco Antonio Attisani
Watly
"I don’t believe customers buy products because the company represents a good cause - this can depend on the product, however for example one of our partners when I first approached her, began by acknowledging the important work we are doing, however followed up by saying bottom line is we have to see the benefit for us if we’re going to invest."
Keren Jackson
BlueFire
"Just get started building something. Focus on growth. Talk to users. Don't do anything else besides those two things. Figure out how to creatively solve or get around problems that you will inevitably run into. It's tough, so find a support network and learn to manage your own levels of stress and happiness. Don't worry about all the mistakes."
Mattan Griffel
One Month
"Failure is the road to success. There are countless examples of this, such as Michael Jordan failing to get on his high school basketball team, then training all summer and when school started again he was one of the best. When we created Wiredelta in 2012, we were both business graduates with limited technical know-how..."
Mark Dencker
Wiredelta
"At the moment there is no mobile-first food ordering company that connects people with the best restaurants in Dublin and lets them order in two taps. Every design decision was made to streamline the process because people are busy and their time is their most valuable asset - anything that gives people back their time is very valuable."
James McCarthy
FlipDish
"Getting to know your industry in-depth is really essential, particularly as a startup. You need to be aware of technology trends coming in, and what else is currently available. From there you identify the gaps and try and build something new and valuable. You can’t afford to waste resources solving problems that someone else has already solved."
Jelena Aleksic
GeneAdviser
"We strive towards freedom and self-determination and I feel that entrepreneurship is the path to achieving that end goal. At this early stage, that path is hard to see amongst the bushes of doubt and the brambles of uncertainty. However, even in that dark place being able to walk that path is a wonderful feeling and I’m enjoying the experience."
Nick Hynes
Gymr
"Just keep Walking. The advice helped a lot. Success, failures, funding, no-funding, there is only one direction. Forward. You have to keep walking on it. Startups are like journey of crossing a desert. Once you are started you can’t afford to go back."
Girish Mehta
Joosworks
"The biggest learning for me is that a startup is really just one big experiment. It’s often hard to let go of an idea that you think is great, but if no one is going to pay you for that idea then you need to move on. Also, focusing on the business rather than on the tech is key. Look for budget and appetite from customers as early as possible..."
Bart Lehane
KillBiller.com
"The best gamification strategy is to really understand your customers, and have a good analysis of what is a key value for them. It is important, especially in a longterm gamification, to realise that most gamified solutions are dynamic systems that require updating, and are honed and refined over time - similar to mobile app development."
Oliver Simko
Luducrafts
"It’s definitely a challenge managing two startups. But our trick is to not make them mutually exclusive (i.e. we are using development resources from Digital Purpose to build Shareneeds). In addition, both startups share many similar values since the people behind both are the same. I would also recommend practicing patience and perseverance."
Martin Dejnicki
Digital Purpose | Shareneeds
"The main reason your startup business closes its doors within 18 months is because nobody knew it existed. As a founder of a new company you are walking a tightrope. On one hand you desperately need to get your brand noticed and achieve rapid customer acquisition, but you will likely, not have the deep marketing budget, so you've got to be smart."
Michael Riley
Boxter | Simplpost
"One of the things I have learnt is not to overthink too much and just go for it. The more exposure you can create the better, more contact points and engagements mean more potential for cross pollination or meeting a person that is genuinely going to make a difference to your company."
Lukas Decker
Coindrum
Being social entrepreneurial is something that can be part of everyone's life from CEO of big company to every teacher to doctor or a professional hockey player. We can all work to create innovative solutions to not only create new businesses but shape businesses, to think about creating wealth not just for our shareholders but for everybody."
Vikash Das
Vat Vrikshya
"Word of mouth is probably our strongest growth channel. We recently did a Net Promoter Score survey. The NPS is a simple question: "How likely are you to recommend Bullet to someone?" We scored 75 for the first couple of weeks which now hovers around 68. That's a higher recommendation than Apple's iPhone, and we're an accounting product!"
Peter Connor
Bullet
75% of all the entrepreneurs I mentor are Women and they seem to be very receptive, proactive and determined to turn their ideas into reality. One striking difference I have seen in the difference in how they work is their ability to network, ask questions and learn from more experienced business people - a key skill to be successful!"
Ryan Windsor
Windsor Properties
"Team is so important. It goes without saying, in work or in life, surround yourself with people who lift you up. It doesn’t matter if it’s a costume team or a software team. I must work with people who love what they do, are fired up about it. I like it when the people around me hold me to a very high standard. I surround myself with the best."
Tara Van Zyl
Seamless
I think the most important thing, once you have decided to commit to achieving something, is to believe that you can do it. For me that’s always been the most important thing; I’ve never considered the alternative. That doesn’t mean that I always expect things to turn out perfectly, but I’ve never, ever doubted I could, in the end, achieve my goal.
Ciara O'Toole
Amelia
Shama, you have been described by Entrepreneur Magazine as "Zen Master of Marketing", it's a pleasure to have you with us on InspiredStartups.com! Among your many achievements are founder, technology entrepreneur, best-selling author… Given all your experience I'm sure our startup community will be excited to hear your entrepreneurial wisdom!"
Shama Hyder
Marketing Zen
"You hear a lot of 'gurus' hyping up the opportunity, encouraging people to create online startups and they will focus on developing a service or store, but having the idea and implementing it is the easy part. It’s getting visibility which is the most difficult!"
Dave Chaffey
Smart Insights
"My brother and I co-founded our startup, TeenagerEntrepreneur.com. This startup is designed to empower teens with the knowledge they need to be successful with their passions. My brother and I show teens how to identify those passions, turn those passions into products, promote those products, and propel themselves to future success."
Marc Guberti
Teenager Entrepreneur
"My main recommendation, especially for people working in large tech companies, is to spend a significant amount of time assessing the opportunity, gathering feedback, challenging the idea, building relationships, understanding the startup world and even raising money before leaving their jobs."
Gaston Irigoyen
Guidecentral
"Having a definable USP is important too and the customer will ask: Why should I buy or change my buying habits for your new product? So you have to have a compelling argument. Finally be careful not to over promise and under deliver. You only have one reputation in this world and it takes years to build but seconds to destroy."
Derek Reilly
BNI
"One key barrier is that people fall in love with solutions rather than problems and they fixate too early on one idea. You can take your time to experiment with different ideas and aspects of an idea. As an entrepreneur your success is that of the people that make up your company solving problems for customers not that you had the right idea."
Stew McTavish
IdeaSpace
"Listen to investors, take feedback very seriously. They often have seen maybe people do exactly what your are trying to achieve and fail. So with that information they can save you a lot of time and money. That’s not to say they are always right, but you better have a good reason to say why they are wrong in your case or that you're different."
Andrew Mullaney
NewsWhip
"Be nice - there have been many times that I could have charged some extortionate “rush fees” like agencies would for last minute work, but I haven’t because I know that if I scalp someone today they aren’t going to like me all that much going forward, and I’d wager that they won’t go around recommending me."
Ed Fidgeon Kavanagh
Clearpreso
"Questions you should ask as part of your STARTUP LAUNCH CHECKLIST: 1. Have you got product market fit? 2. Can you prove your business model? 3. Do you have a customer base willing and capable of paying? 4. Is your business scalable? 5. Is your market big enough? 5. And lastly, have you got the right people behind you – at home and at work?"
Caelen King
WhatClinic
"There is an awful lot going on in the Irish startup scene. The best place is to look on Meetup.com. There are events like eCommerce Ireland, Techpreneurs, Refresh Dublin. I would also recommend the hackathons. Startup Weeked is on June - great way to meet new people and start building teams. People should also subscribe to Dublin Startup Digest."
John Muldoon
Entrepreneur Anonymous
"There is no secret behind the success of any company. When you offer a service many want, you'll be successful. The trick is to find your niche, and that's where 90% of startups fall down. If you are having trouble getting traction, it's probably nothing to do with your tech, marketing or business plan. You need to look at your product..."
Aaron Craig
Temptster
"I’m absolutely delighted with our team. The level of talent I’ve somehow managed to gather around this concept is really humbling, and that buoys me every day. The enthusiasm that they feel only amplifies my own, and it makes the long hours and working weekends seem irrelevant. Every success that we achieve is simply a testament to them."
Sean Ahern
ThankFrank
"The more ideas we generate, the more likely we are to generate really unique, important ones, so developing skills to create ideas and test them is important. For me it was hard to come up with new ideas after working for so long on my previous startup, so I came up with a method to train my brain to generate ideas - you can read it in my blog..."
Ellen Dudley
Peoplehunt
"My main failures were related to being involved in business for money not passion. Of course you can be passionate about the wrong type of business also but if you are passionate about a business that has potential then it's very easy to put in long hours. The property business I was involved in was just to make money but that wasn't enough."
Ian Cleary
RazorSocial
"Short answer for growth hacking: Use exit surveys on your website or web app. Why did people leave and what was frustrating for them. Long answer: growing a business is a long term endeavour. You need to bake the growth of the product into everything: Engineering, Finance not just Marketing and Sales."
Des Martin
3Funnel
"My biggest pet peeve is when young entrepreneurs are scared to tell you their idea because they think someone will steal it. This is absurd for many reasons, but mostly because they never get feedback on their idea. When you have an idea, tell everyone. You’ll get feedback, and you may even find your first customer."
Kelsey Meyer
InfluenceandCo
"Another thing I have learned is that you should never worry when others say no to your startup idea. But if you sincerely believe in what you're doing, and the impact it could have; if you can live in the future before your friends get there, then you're probably destined for something pretty cool."
Kareem Mostafa
TRIBEfoodie
"My biggest challenge when starting up Quiip: I had a 3-week-old baby! So I managed to ‘launch a baby’ and ‘birth a business’ at the same time. Our first project ran 24-7 for six weeks, so being awake in the night due to my baby, came in handy. However like so many successful working mothers, I had an incredibly supportive partner."
Alison Michalk
Quiip
"Find a sale quickly. Too many entrepreneurs never get to market because they are constantly trying to “perfect the product”. If you can sell what you have, then you know that there is a demand. If you cannot sell it, find someone who can. If they can’t sell it, then get out quick. If you are going to fail, then fail fast."
Anthony Quigley
Digital Marketing Institute
"On the way up the skydive instructor told me there was a possibility we might go up to heaven instead of landing on the ground. He asked me if I would have any regrets if we didn’t make it and the one that sprung to mind was the regret of not starting up my own business. So I came back from holidays with the intention of handing in my notice."
Joanne Casey
GlowMetrics
"Passion and hard-work! Any business needs these two key ingredients. Team is important, good idea helps, long hours is inevitable but if you are not passionate about what you are doing or unwilling to put in the handwork needed to make it work, it is unlikely it will go far."
Kritika Ashok
ArtNouv