Recently I attended Women 2.0 Founder Friday, an event for female founders and entrepreneurs. Having met lots of successful women in tech, I was really inspired by the story of Alexa Andrzejewski, CEO & Co-Founder of Foodspotting. She shared her experience on starting her first company and gave some useful tips, which can help any startups to kick off.
Alexa came up with the idea of Foodspotting (app) following her passion and craving for great food, and unlike many other apps that help you to review restaurants, Foodspotting gives you a chance to review dishes and stumble upon great food around you. The startups was quite successful and recently was acquired by OpenTable for 10M in cash!
Although the path to success wasn’t easy. Alexa mentioned that, while talking to many investors, potential team mates and simply friends, all these people tried to talk her out of the initial idea in one way to
another. Some people encouraged her to think broader and create an Instagram, some doubted the idea at all. The main lesson learned from this was:
“Stick to the problem you are going to solve, don’t let people talk you out of it”.
The other question Foodspotting faced along the way was: “Should we be concerned about sharing our idea with many people? Perhaps, we should just keep it to ourselves until the product hits the market!” Many startups have this kind of concerns. So, what should they do? Alexa confidently stated:
“The value of sharing your idea, which might lead to finding an investor, a great CTO or some useful feedback, is much greater then the risk of being copied. After you launch, hundred of clones will appear, no doubts. Share. The risk is always there, but benefits are also all there.”
I can’t but agree. There are many great ideas in the air, but now it’s all about the execution. If you have an idea for a startup, talk about it to anyone who’d listen. The more you talk about it, the more you learn. You receive feedback, you receive critique, you receive inspiration and many useful contacts. Even if you decide to drop this idea and do something else, this might be one of the smartest decisions in your life :)
In his article Chris Dixon did a great job pulling together arguments on why you should share your ideas with the world. Takes only a few minutes to look it through Why you shouldn’t keep your startup idea secret.June 16, 2013