- When starting on an entrepreneurial journey, the vision often only lives in the mind of the founder or founding team.
- It is only after self-validation, several attempts at winning something, for example, product-market fit or an experiment, that others may see potential and take interest.
This past week, I took time out to reevaluate strategies across several interests that I carry. Flipping through channels, I felt compelled to re-watch Kipchoge: The Last Milestone.
The documentary covers the successful attempt by Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge to run a marathon in under two hours. I drew numerous insights and affirmations from the 90-minute film, having planted the view on this column that technology entrepreneurs are no different from track athletes. How so?
When starting on an entrepreneurial journey, the vision often only lives in the mind of the founder or founding team. It is only after self-validation, several attempts at winning something, for example, product-market fit or an experiment, that others may see potential and take interest.
While not impossible, running and scaling any vision as a solo founder is difficult. It is important to gather people who can sharpen your resolve, call you out when you deviate or hit the road alongside you on every climb, descent, and curve.
Choosing a home base is also critical to success. Whether an incubator, accelerator, or community, where you choose to build and take on the world from, can be the difference between creating value and being stuck in a vicious cycle of missed opportunities and resource burn.
It is no wonder that Y Combinator, an American startup accelerator that has identified and nurtured over 3,200 companies, sees rabid interest from global founders subscribed to its philosophy and smitten by its record of accomplishments.
Once the foundational elements like figuring out where to play in any value chain are in place, it is time to go for gold. Year to August 2021, startups in Africa have closed on over $ 2 billion. Capital raises juxtapose with sponsorship dollars that follow seasoned athletes.
Following the use of capital points to customer acquisition and retention. Ranking top, however, is the drive for talent. Operators, engineers, researchers, marketers, customer service, down to the front and back office, it is only a fully functional, anatomically correct, and balanced corporate body that can hope to compete and outperform its industry peers.
While podium finishes shine the light on founders, it is solid teams that drive stellar results. The objective of all visionaries should be to ramp up quickly on talent that buys into the big picture but is committed to the drudgery of detail and specialization to deliver consistent wins.
Njihia is the head of business and partnerships at Sure Corporation | www.mbuguanjihia.com | @mbuguanjihia