A Checklist For My Fellow Tech Startups As a rule of thumb, any and every tech startup needs to have a strong digital identity to attract the digital-first customers

By Anirudh Singla

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The Indian startup ecosystem is making headlines for reaching the 100-Unicorn mark recently. How do you think this came about? Three keywords: technology, innovation and disruption. This growth has been further accelerated by the emergence and large acceptance of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. Technology is what determines the future. Society moulds itself into the structure that technology sets up. Its influence can be felt in every field. You are reading this article on your screens and not on printed catalogues because technology gave us that convenience.

Another factor that is boosting the economics is the higher importance of quality content and a wholesome communication cycle. Social media and the vast digital landscape has made it imperative for any business to have an innovative and compelling digital face. Think of it this way: social media has allowed each post to be a sales pitch. Due to the increasing importance of content, there are a plethora of tools, techniques and software available that incorporate elements of AI and unique business characteristics. So as a rule of thumb, any and every tech startup needs to have a strong digital identity to attract the digital-first customers.

Aside from the universal rule of digital identity creation, here are five pointers for a tech startup to be successful:

Have a product-first mindset

Shift your 'mindset' from 'who will do it?' to "how will it get done?'

To keep up with today's accelerated transformation and plan for sustained growth, business leaders must keep an eye on trends and be ahead of the curve to prioritise continuous technological evolution, data-driven decisions, and customer delight. In order to survive in the tech ecosystem, identify gaps that limit the potential for future innovation or scalability with automated solutions.

Build that first minimum viable product and never stop improving

Ensure to build an MVP to find the right balance between what the business is offering to users and what users actually need. Conducting competitor analysis and qualitative customer research will help you form an in-depth understanding of prospects' pain points. Customer feedback is information your business receives directly from customers informing you about their experience and satisfaction levels regarding your product or service. Therefore, integrating customer feedback to your product or services helps build that first MVP fast.

Collaboration is key

Picking the right people to communicate and collaborate with external parties should be a top priority. When done right, collaboration and networking can have a positive impact on your offerings and organisation. The way you communicate with third parties will impact your reputation and also affect how others see your business. Therefore, there is a need to find new compact and ways to collaborate and partner, while still competing and disrupting

Document everything

Documenting everything might mean adopting some new habits. As a startup, your first thought in any situation should be how can I record this moment? Thinking from a long-term perspective, documentation of your product or service can help ease the process of on-boarding and passing down the baton to new employees. It can also solidify a product-first culture. Another reason for documentation is to retain the information that might get lost during verbal communication. This way you are concretising a streamlined process that can always be referred to later. When a new employee learns the wrong method, it becomes 'that's how they taught me,' which leads to 'that's how it's always been'. Documentation allows you to record your steps so that everyone involved knows what to do when to do it, and how to accomplish it. Organisations such as Zomato, internationally Stripe, etc., have product blogs where they share their processes around building products; a great way to encourage collaboration as well.

A founder with a technical background

To ensure that the new beginning of your startup is well begun, you need to make sure that your foundations are strong. Almost every business startup these days has a base in technology. Technology has also found its way into the commercial sector. Therefore, it's necessary to have a founder with a technical understanding to ensure that the corresponding resources are optimally utilized.

Anirudh Singla

Founder & CEO, Pepper Content

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