Five Startup Lessons From Those Who Have Done It

TechTO’s December event was not only full to the brim with attendants, but chock-full of great lessons from successful entrepreneurs.

Here are five lessons from the five speakers at the event:

1. Casper Wong from Financeit: “Figure out the why.”

Wong encourages people looking to start new businesses to truly tap into why their business is doing what they want to do. “Why are you meaningful?” says Wong. “Why are you different?” Wong believes these questions asked in the early stages of a startup can help an organization make better businesses, and help create a sense of team focus.

2. Josh Brandley from Parsel: “Build a great support group.”

Brandley feels it’s integral for entrepreneurs to have strong support groups in the initial stages of going from having no business to having one. “Hire people who are smart and work hand,” says Brandley, who thinks that experience isn’t entirely necessary when you’re picking people for your team. The key is to find intelligent and motivated people.

3. Jonah Midanik from LimeLight Platform: “You’ve got to have a problem.”

While Midanik’s advice was catered towards shifting service businesses into a product focused approach, the key lessons he brought could easily apply to any new entrepreneurs. “You’ve got to have a problem,” says Midanik, “the bigger the problem, the better.” Midanik says that the more you see this problem present in potential clients, or even in yourself, the more you’ll know that your problem is worth solving. This will help drive your business.

4. Cobi Druxerman from Taplytics: “Don’t feel like being in the Valley will make or break business.”

Druxerman made the the quintessential tech move to the Valley about two years ago, but is now back in Toronto and encourages startups to think more critically about where to locate their business, whether that means the Valley, or New York, or Toronto. Druxerman also says that he’s seen major growth in the Toronto tech eco system in the last two years.

5. Jim Estill from Danby: “Fail often, fail fast, fail cheap.”

Estill encourages entrepreneurs to not dwell on their failures, and instead have long term inspirations that drive them last it. “What is the secret to success?” says Estill, “first secret is there is none. It’s all in the little things.”