When I began my internship at Start Co. in January, I was just a business major in an internship class looking for something interesting to be a part of. I knew very little about entrepreneurship and what it takes to build and grow a startup in today’s fast-paced business world. But I came with an open mind and a desire to learn, not only because I was interested, but also because my college career is winding down faster than I could ever have imagined and now is the time to learn if I’m going to survive in postgraduate life.
What I have learned in the almost two months I’ve been an intern at Start Co. is that an idea is just the start of building a company. Of course it’s important to find an area of consumer need and a way to effectively fill that need. That’s a critical step in the startup process. But a great idea is a dime a dozen.
What it really takes to be successful in the entrepreneurial world is passion and a drive to succeed. There have been a million great ideas that you have never heard of — or that somebody else ended up doing better — because their creators were not driven to make them succeed no matter the obstacles.
Every startup team that works at Start Co., from Preteckt to Front Door, has that drive and that is how they have gotten as far as they have with their companies. They all started with an idea that they were passionate about and believed could make a difference, and they stuck with it. They have also possess the other key trait of successful entrepreneurs: a willingness to listen to their consumers’ needs and adapt their product to fit those needs. You cannot have a one-track mind when it comes to your business plan. An unwillingness to adapt is one of the surest ways to guarantee failure for your startup. The world is changing rapidly and your company must change with it if you want to succeed.
Any good investor will tell you that when they make an investment, they are investing more in the person than the idea. They are betting that that entrepreneur’s drive to make their startup a success will be able overcome the challenges that come along the way. An idea does not create a business, people do.