Tech startup ideas are changing our lives on every level, from growing crops to getting around. Who would have thought 10 years ago that we would be ordering groceries with home delivery in 15 minutes, riding electric scooters everywhere, and opening bank accounts online in a couple of minutes?
Technology plays a paramount role in these changes. Nevertheless, there is an open question: does technology institute change, or are we changing the way we approach everyday life through technology?
The demands on projects for everyday life are changing: new types of customers, more complex issues and needs, and tight timeframes. To work optimally and provide people with accessible services, we need to make processes smarter.
● Use technology-based collaboration tools to improve interactions between colleagues and clients.
● Automate document creation to save resources.
● Use speech software to avoid manual typing.
● Transparently share information with clients through IT systems.
● Store documents in the cloud so you can work with them from anywhere.
All of these technologies make any IT service work much faster. And it also helps you respond more effectively to customer needs.
It turns out that the first one goes this way manually; there is a need for digitization, and then an understanding of what technology is needed. The other way around doesn’t work. It’s hard to create a startup and try to find a use for it in the industry. Businesses may simply not be ready for such a change.
Let’s say a budding entrepreneur comes up with a great idea. They are resolute and energetic, quickly put it together, package the MVP, and wait for sales. But there are no sales. Entrepreneur does not give up: they redesign the idea, change the price, add new features, and gather a new team. They wait for the sales. But they are not made again.
All this is a typical, albeit simplified, the life cycle of a product, which the market didn’t need. This product can be qualitative or sub-quality, expensive or cheap; all this is not important. Simply, it turns out, not to be needed by those who are trying to sell it.
This is how innovative technology finds itself out of business. And behind the implementation of this task is also a manager-manager, who hires and trains staff, orders uniforms, tracks productivity, and keeps the books.
Startups and money
Tech startups are created to make money. And technology helps scale processes. The product (technology) should solve specific customer pains and help the business scale.
The right solution in this situation is to launch a minimally possible product with minimal investment, quickly test the market need for the idea, and then iteratively develop the product, occupy new niches and enter other markets.
Boom in startups
The massive digitalization of business has launched an entrepreneurial initiative to develop IT products and solutions. The IT market is growing more dynamic every year. In 2022, it will grow by 14%. Entrepreneurial initiatives and investments in IT startups have increased amid the accelerated digitalization of industries and the development of various online services. In the venture capital market, it’s startup time. Investors are eager to make lucrative deals.
The MedTech and EdTech segments are attracting the attention of investors and entrepreneurs. The investment appeal of AgroTech, FinTech, Entertainment, Healthcare, FashionTech, and Advertising & Marketing increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as online shopping, telemedicine, online education, agri-tech, digital communication channels, ordering, and payment increased. Offline retailers needed additional financial and legal services, as well as information security services, to operate in an online format.
How Tech Startups are Developing
Let’s take the example of a LegalTech product. The legal precedents in the field of copyright protection are becoming more and more important. The idea of the service is to automatically detect the theft of content and negotiate with violators on compensation for the authors of this content: find a photographer, who faced the problem of stolen works, connect a lawyer, and received compensation.
The idea could be in demand. The technology of searching using content, including on marketplaces, and risk-scoring, will be very popular. Risk-scoring technology allows for assessing the likelihood that a particular Internet resource uses pirated content and analyzes the practice of such cases from court practice to calculate the amount of compensation.
In parallel with the development of a LegalTech-product, a team of lawyers would have to be assembled who would synchronize all the technological developments with the procedure of interaction with all the participants in the process — the author of the content, the infringer, the court, the bailiff and even the postal service.
What is the point? Without knowing the nuances of working with the court system, the intricacies of claims, the timing of filing and adjudication, and many other important issues, it is impossible to write an algorithm that would automate the process to perfection.
Any example of FoodTech services will show that such a tech startup is basically impossible without established operations. The food delivery market is worth tens of billions of dollars, which means that the need for couriers is one of the most pressing for such a tech startup.
Given the peculiarities of each tech startup, it is important to define a single lifecycle:
● Idea testing.
● Working out working scenarios and business processes.
● Creating a full-fledged tech startup.
For an idea to bring in money, it must be practical. All the way through development it is necessary to pass (and more than once) independently, to work off dozens of consumer scenarios, to draw schemes, and to understand then, where the technology will cope better than the person.
A few tips for those who are launching a new tech startup or are at the MVP stage:
● Walk the path with the customer. Even if you’re confident that everything is as clear as possible, don’t be lazy to stumble at every step in solving simple (or not so simple) mundane problems. Uber’s top executives have tried on the role of cab drivers more than once; otherwise, how would they know that many customers underrate carriers just to get bonuses for future trips from customer service.
● Don’t wait for the perfect tech startup. Such a moment will likely never come. Work will continue on the second release and the thousand-second release.
● Maintain a balance. There are times when Tech needs to be relegated to the back burner because failures in the operating system prevent even the most innovative development from being demonstrated to the customer.
This approach helps avoid situations where an idea has turned into an expensive tech startup that either doesn’t solve user problems or can’t scale.
The basic philosophy — don’t get hung up on a benchmark tech startup. The product has to solve the customer’s problem, and technology alone may not be enough. Develop iteratively: go every possible way with the customer, stumble over consumer and bureaucratic barriers, picking up bits and pieces of knowledge to digitize the process. Start selling and scaling as soon as possible. If there are sales, it means someone already needs a tech startup.