What would I have done differently?

If I were to start my new venture journey over from scratch, what would I do differently? First, I think I would look to work with other people's problem (and the respective solution they are working on), rather than look for my own problem and solution. There is enough work involved in building a business without having to "own" the problem-solution. Secondly, I think I would actively partner more to develop the business. Nevertheless, I have no regrets about where things are at the moment with the business that I have developed. I just think that these steps - in hindsight - would have helped moved things along faster.

I think coming up with your own problem-solution means you need a really good feedback system (of other people) to tell you what is good and bad about your business proposition. Mine was probably reasonable, but I can be stubborn and only really have taken the advice of prospective customers when deciding when things do and don't work. I think people look at their own problem-solution's with rose tinted glasses. It makes it more difficult to properly assess the proposition. I also think that there are many, many people with their own problem-solutions -- there never seems to be a shortage of people with ideas. To look at what they are doing and carefully evaluate may, I think, mean needing to pivot the business model less often.

Working on someone else's problem-solution also brings the advantage of having someone you can partner with and have carry some of the work load. My approach has been to work largely on my own while getting lots of help from various student teams from different classes. This has worked well, but I wonder if a stable core team would help things work even better. At a university, there are many researchers working on so many problem-solutions. These researchers actually bring substantially different skills to business to what an MBA will. They also bring the possibility of IP protection for the solution they have developed.

I have no regrets about where I am at the moment with the business that I have been developing. However, the next time I start a business, I will experiment with these two ideas.

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