Building a new business in the current, technologically supercharged era can feel like a daunting prospect. Success can often depend on leveraging cutting-edge tools in novel ways, so besides having the sort of business acumen that helps you identify potential gaps in the market, you also need to be able to think further outside of the box than ever before. We’re talking about becoming a visionary of galaxy-brain proportions.
However, many of the pillars that helped prop up business in the past still apply. Even with the best ideas you aren’t going to get far with the right approach. Specno is a software and design company that operates in a new-aged space tapping into the power of AI to build, design and validate powerful native web and mobile applications. Their success is proof that just having the right skill set and ideas isn’t enough; you also need a bulletproof philosophy.
Want to lay claim to some real estate in the entrepreneurial landscape? Follow their lessons to charter a path to success:
1. Choose The Right People
“Learn how to hire because it’s probably the most important thing that you can do as a leader,” says Jacques Jordaan, co-founder of Specno. “And learn how to convince the best to come to work for you.”
“We were incredibly lucky that we had a few people say ‘no’ to our first offers,” chimes in Daniel Novitzkas, the other half of the dynamic duo behind the company’s success. “We persisted in trying to hire people that we believed were good, and we ended up hiring guys that were willing to take a huge risk on us. We gave them a lot of trust, autonomy, and freedom, and they basically helped us more in shaping the cultural Specno to the point where we believe we should only hire people like that—only hire people who we believe are stallions.”
The lesson? Never prioritise skill over solidarity. You want to look for someone who fits in with the current fabric of your team: whether you’re adding a ninth member to your flourishing enterprise or scouting out potential partners for your first foray into the business world. “If someone is good, but you know, they’re annoying to be around, they’re negative and they just drain all of your energy… then it doesn’t matter how skillful they are,” says Jordaan.
The goal is to find a cohort that inspires you and makes you want to put in long hours.
2. Embrace Feedback
Waiting days, or even weeks, to give out feedback will kill motivation faster than a bad year-end report. But if you’re procrastinating on the C&Cs, you’re also missing out on valuable data that’ll help your business thrive. “I think because we’re so in love with our ideas, we look for any bullsh*t that can validate what we’re doing—often at the expense of gathering actual data that’ll tell us whether or not this thing is actually a bad idea,” says Novitzkas.
The lesson? At Specno the goal is to get to the point of understanding that would invalidate any idea ASAP. Then, gather data to show why that idea doesn’t work. Ultimately, “the less I can shoot holes in it, the more valid I realise it becomes and then the easier it is to start doing that thing and going down that direction,” says Jordaan. “So, yeah, I think the value of ‘feedback, build, measure, learn’—feedback loops are insanely critical.”
3. Learn to Persist
The sands of time are one of your most precious resources, and the way you spend this finite supply might have a greater impact on your success than how you invest your capital. “You can’t just be letting time pass,” says Novitzkas. “You have to be obsessing for a constant period and then recognising that even though you’re putting in twice as many hours as your competitors, it still just takes time and those that can persist will be the ones who prevail.”
The lesson? You show up every day. “Keep showing up and allow yourself time to learn what you need to make the right decisions moving ahead,” says Jordaan.