Founders are typically driven by one of two things:
- Passion about a problem to solve, such as removing friction from ecommerce shopping, or applying Big Data to achieve supply chain efficiencies
- Enthusiasm for a particular industry or "space," such as IoT or green energy initiatives
For those who recognize themselves as founders, the next big question is timing: now or later? Do you want to leap into entrepreneurship immediately, or acquire more business experience first?
When you feel ready to be a founder, you'll need:
- An idea for a problem to be solved
- And/or a team of partners who have a marketable idea, or have skills/experiences that complement your own
Founders, and their teams, will have a considerable journey ahead, usually with obstacles and challenges unique to their ideas, industries, and market contexts. But regardless of the specific path, they will need to prepare for their journeys by researching the following issues:
Minimum viable product (MVP)
Speed matters. To build momentum, startups typically demonstrate proof of concept by developing the most basic version of their ideas to test their viability, collect data and make adjustments, and attract the interest of investors.
Legal structure of company
How, exactly, will your company represent itself to the world? You and your team need to determine the legal format of your company, the organizational chart, and the distribution of equity. Your choices will have lasting consequences; although a "structure" may be less appealing than an "innovation," the latter cannot be fulfilled if the former isn't designed for stability.
How much do you need – and what will it cost you? Like the legal structure of your enterprise, your choice (or choices) of funding options has an enduring impact on both your business and your role within it. In the heat of the entrepreneurial moment, do not neglect the impact of your funding decisions on your future.
Exploring and resolving all the above issues can be an exhausting and even lonely process. Take care of yourself by taking pains to create and sustain a network of support, including an informal circle of family and friends who can offer emotional sustenance, and a team of expert advisors who can help you blaze your trail and stay on the path.