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5 CONFESSIONS OF A START-UP FOUNDER.

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by Marta Epelde, Guntram Kopp and Rohan Pamani

1.07.2019

Article

There are a lot of things that the EIGHTYDOTS founders have in common. We wanted to share with you the TOP 5 which we still believe are the most important ones to start this kind of journey.

The FIVE years from EIGHTYDOTS have been a pure adventure where we haven’t changed at any time our motto: 'THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING'.

Celebrating the fifth birthday of your own company is an extraordinary satisfaction. Watching your ‘baby’ being born, growing, developing and adapting to new challenges and changes is something special.

1. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

For a small business like ours, being a thought leader in our industry is a must-have skill that has opened up doors to numerous opportunities for business growth. No big investors or a traditional agency network in the background: it was quite a risk to launch an agency for international digital marketing services that most potential clients with an international mission haven’t experienced before. We have compensated that potential feeling of uncertainty with full dedication for each client and their challenges and passionate work that obviously made a difference for the brands we work for.

2. CULTURE

Culture is not what you want to see people doing, it’s what you allow people to do. Having spent time on creating a great culture has helped us to recruit the best people, retain employees and motivate them. Beer in the fridge and a rooftop terrace helps to have a positive attitude but does not mean automatically good company culture. It takes extreme dedication from the very early days to cultivate an environment everyone wants to work in.

3. BUILD THE TEAM

Building a successful startup is a long and bumpy road. Having the right team means everything. You need people who share the same strategic vision and pursue an entrepreneurial passion for the company. There are people who are better suited to work for large companies than to hands-on, fast-paces, resource-constrained start-ups like ours.

And before building the team, make sure you’ve found the best suitable co-founders, people with whom the chemistry is so good that you are willing to build something for the long run. Starting a business with two other partners can mean triple the excitement, creativity, enjoyment and reward. Having the right co-founders helps to make better decisions and focus on what everyone of us is good at.

4. SIMPLE BEATS CLEVER

Keep things simple and lean. Whether it’s the processes, the team set-up, the tools, the mindset, the services you provide: simplicity always beats cleverness.

5. SELF-EXPRESSION

Being your own boss makes you more "alive“ and grow from taking responsibility for our own lives. It is not always as glamorous as most people make it out to be. But as we have felt from our personal experience, the positive definitely outweighs the challenges. Not that we haven’t enjoyed our work in other companies, but after creating a unique and extraordinary workspace like ours, we wouldn’t want to look back.

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