How to Pick the Brain of a Successful Tech Entrepreneur

April 28, 2014

5:16 pm

If you want to become an entrepreneur, then you need to learn from the best. This is particularly true in the overcrowded world of tech startups where it seems everyone is trying to stand out with the latest new app, social network or gadget. There are countless projects on Kickstarter and even more apps across the various app stores, but only a couple of them ever succeed. If you want to become successful yourself, then, the best way to accomplish that is to identify what those winners are doing differently and to emulate them.

You need to learn from the best, but if you ever do get the chance to talk to Mark Zuckerberg or Kevin Rose, then what should you ask them? Here we will look at the questions you need to get answered if you really want to make away with the secrets of these tech giants.

How did you come up with your big idea?

The most important starting point for any entrepreneur is coming up with that initial idea that they can turn into a product, business or service. Without some kind of idea, they would never had anything to sell or to promote, and if the idea was bad, then it would never have taken off.

Coming up with ideas is more of an art than a science, and some people are certainly more blessed with the ability than others.

That said, there are a number of techniques and tricks you can use to identify needs that the market has or to stimulate creative thought, and these are the kinds of tips that an entrepreneur can pass down to you.

How did you make that idea a reality?

The next important step is to take that idea from a concept to an actual product, service, site or whatever else. The exact steps that the entrepreneur took will have been largely dictated by the nature of their product, but if you’re going into the same industry, you can possibly pick up some very useful tips here whether they relate to intellectual property protection or manufacturing contractors.

How did you spread awareness of your product?

Marketing is one of the most important skills of all when it comes to succeeding in the digital age and it’s something that you can’t learn too much about. Different entrepreneurs will have taken different strategies here – some might have contacted bloggers directly while others may have held launch parties, etc. Either way, there are probably some tricks here you can adopt into your own plans.

What would you have done differently?

Focusing purely on the successes of an entrepreneur is a big mistake, as in a lot of cases, you can probably stand to learn more from their failures. Ask the people who have ‘been there’ what they would have done differently and you may find that they can help you avoid some pitfalls along the way.

How do you stay disciplined?

None of this advice is any use to you if you don’t act on it. Perhaps the most important thing to ask, then, should be how that entrepreneur went about ensuring they actually stuck to their plans and saw them through. Learn the discipline they have and you’ll be unstoppable!

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Greg Fisher, founder of Berkeley Sourcing Group, has a strong manufacturing and engineering background, and is proficient in Mandarin. After graduating from UC Berkeley with an engineering degree, Mr. Fisher worked in the medical device, hard drive storage, ice cream, and professional tools industries in various management, manufacturing, and quality control capacities. Clients he has worked with include: Walmart, MAC Tools, Stanley Tools, Snap-On, Matco, Steelman, Honda and others.

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