Many of the big names in the industry today ― Tesla, Facebook, and Apple to name a few ― began their journeys as startups, which are prevalent in today's economy.
Between 2012 and 2017 alone, funding for startups increased by over 50%, according to statistics portal Statista. While some startups go on to become the world's largest power-houses and even cultural icons, most do not even pass the five-year mark and shut down in their initial stages.
In the midst of fierce competition and high saturation, startup owners are struggling to make a name for themselves on the market.
What is it, then, that will set one entrepreneur apart from the others and skyrocket him or her to success?
Tim Draper, an American venture capital investor and founder of Draper Associates and Draper University, gives readers the answer in his book, "How to Be the Startup Hero," which was recently translated into Korean by Kim Yoon-ha.
|"How to Be the Startup Hero" by Tim Draper|
First having graduated from Stanford University in electrical engineering, Draper went on to pursue an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1984. He has worked with companies such as Hotmail, Skype, and Bitcoin, all of which began as startups and later became major corporations.
In the book, Draper explains 12 essential pledges one must take to have a successful startup.
He dedicates an entire chapter to each of the pledges.
The first chapter, for example, is called "I Will Promote Freedom at All Costs" and talks about the importance of fostering a free work culture. This does not refer to a company with a lack of discipline, but rather, one in which employees are encouraged to exercise their creativity and voice their opinions.
"There is nothing worse than hindering the potential of a company through suppressing talented individuals in the name of authority," Draper says.
In another chapter, Draper talks about the importance of networking. Networking is especially important in the beginning stages of the startup, when public awareness about the company and its services is low. Expanding the startup's network to include members of the press can be especially advantageous regarding marketing and product placement.
Draper also shares his secrets to developing the right mindset. He encourages aspiring startup owners to make a bucket list of goals they want to achieve, not only in terms of business but also aspects of personal life. Creating a bucket list will motivate you to try something new and to be more innovative.
He stresses the importance of being healthy and happy, as working, let alone being a leader, will be impossible otherwise. To get rid of unhealthy habits (in Draper's case, snacking on too much junk food), he maintained new healthy habits for 30 days in a row. He lost a total of six kilograms, proving that harmful ways can be fixed with just a bit of effort.
Through his expertise in the business sector and experience working with startup businesses, Draper gives readers the key to becoming successful business owners. He finishes the book by addressing the readers in hopes to create a brighter future through the next generation of "startup heroes."
Jin Yu-young is a Korea Times intern.