June 12, 2017
Many startups begin as a personal or educational project and end up starting a business. And with it come naysayers and doubters.
We asked James Hu, founder and CEO of Jobscan about how he ignored those that doubted his idea and went on to fix a pain point in the market.
What did you to turn your current business from an idea into a reality?
I started coding. I wasn’t a computer science grad or an engineer. But I wanted to see it happen. So I Googled literally every line of Jobscan’s first version. It became a reality in 60 days.
What is the scariest part of being a young entrepreneur?
Most people think being an entrepreneur is this daunting life change that requires one to risk everything. It really isn’t. Many successful companies started as a personal or academic project, like Facebook, Google and Uber. Don’t think of it as “starting a business.” Just work on a project. The first stage is to just start. So change your mindset. It’s not a big deal.
Did you ever have any doubters?
Yes. One of my best friends told me it wasn’t going to work. In fact, I don’t specifically remember what he said. Maybe I just have the ability to ignore and forget what naysayers say. I loved the idea and there was no real cost to trying it other than my time. So why not give it a shot?
What is the No. 1 thing you wish you’d known starting your business?
I’m actually glad I didn’t know about many things when I first started. I never conducted market sizing or wrote a business plan. I just knew there was a pain point and I wanted to solve it.
Thoughts on raising capital?
From the business side, I’d advice not raising money. As much as media touts how many millions startups have raised, I actually think raising money increases the chances of company failure. Don’t get me wrong; all the top companies raised money. But they’re the five percent.
How do you end each day?
I end each day by writing down how the day went and what could’ve been improved. I also do a weekly self-review of how I did and what I should change. It’s sometimes difficult to find time to do this, as we love executing. But slowing down and reflecting builds your self-confidence and lets you reflect on what should be done differently.
What is your best PR/marketing tip?
Have the product ready and email reporters in your area to try it out. Give them free access and let them play with your shiny new toy. If they actually end up reporting on it, congratulations. Stay in touch with the reporter and build a relationship. PR is relationship-based; just like many types of partnerships.
What are some personal and company goals?
My goal and Jobscan’s goal are the same: Take the pain out of job search. I want all job seekers to apply to jobs using Jobscan to ensure they match with them before going any further. I think it’s a 10 plus year endeavor. But if we get there, Jobscan will continue to innovate on a monthly basis and keep our promise to job seekers. If time allows, I’d look for another world problem to solve and start again.
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