The Business of Engineering – Startups on Startups

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At element14 we’re proud to support engineers and tech professionals at all levels. Many of our members use the Community as a testing ground for their products and designs, gaining valuable feedback and exposure from their fellow members before taking their products to market.
 
Through our Business of Engineering space, we’ve spoken to many startup leaders about the challenges and rewards of establishing a new tech enterprise. In this eBook, we’ve gathered some of their most valuable insights on a range of topics, from ideation and prototyping to funding, manufacturing, and distribution.
 
Whether you’re dreaming of making the leap into the exciting world of startups or you’re already on the road toward launching your product, we hope you find this guide to be a valuable resource.
 
Chapter 1 – Taking the Leap
Many of us have a great idea for a product or business that we dream about taking further. But how do you know that your idea is feasible— and when it is the right time to take the leap into making your startup aspirations into a reality?”
 
Do your research. Before taking the leap into any new venture, it’s crucial that you have a clear understanding of what you’re building, what your vision is, and whether there’s an actual demand for it in the market.
 
I built my first prototypes very quickly in my college dorm room and immediately took them out for testing with families. That way, I could understand whether the parents would actually buy my product, whether the kids would be interested in playing with it, and whether there was a legitimate gap in the market.
 
Spending a good while doing this at the beginning of your startup journey is vital. If you work on assumptions and pursue an idea that doesn’t have proven value to your customers, there’s a risk that you could end up going pretty far in the wrong direction and launching a product that flops—all because you didn’t do your research.
Mark Pavlyukovskyy – Piper
 
We felt there was a lack of innovation in our particular industry – there was a real sense that if we didn’t do it, nobody else would. Launching our startup was the only way to get a product out there that wasn’t available.
 
When it comes to making the leap, it’s really helpful to have at least one co-founder on board from the start. It’s much easier to lose interest or heart when you’re working alone. You’re also more likely to be taken seriously if you have multiple stakeholders involved in your project—it demonstrates that other people believe in what you’re doing.
William BainboroughDoordeck
 
Be persistent. You have to really believe in what you’re doing. Unless you’re very lucky, launching a startup is going to involve a lot of hard work for what often seems like very little reward—particularly in the early stages.
 
When things get tough, focus on the positives. You have the flexibility to work for yourself; you’re creating something that you really care about and when the rewards do come, they’re that much sweeter.
 
When I launched my startup, I was quite naive about how much work it would take to grow it from a hobby business into a sustainable Small & Medium Enterprises (SME). If I had been less naive, perhaps I wouldn’t have had the confidence to pursue it. But, having gone through it and come out the other side, I would recommend it to anybody.
 Aaron Shaw – Pi Supply
 
Chapter 2 – Creating Your Product
 
To finish reading, or to download the full guide please click here.