Proper question to ask yourself - How successful you want your startup to be?

Foremost, I'm not some motivation guru or a self-appointed mentor to any startups. However, I reckon that asking the proper question will set you on the right path to a stage where your inner soul will tell you that you are successful.

Very often I came across young/junior developers looking to launch their own startups and they tend to ask this question.

How can I launch a successful startup?

In my opinion, when you ask someone else what's the meaning of a successful startup, you basically shut down your own mind, put it into lazy mode and outsource the definition to the external person.

pondering your own future and starting up

Joshua Earle

Who will love to tell you the definition of a successful startup?

Probably investors will tell you that a successful startup will experience "hockey stick" like user growth and the goal is to enrich yourself and your share holders by enabling them to flip your startup over for a fast/rewarding exit.

Is there anything wrong with that? No, not really... just that your startup exists to fulfill someone else's definition of success. Chances are high that you caught the startup bug and willing to slog to achieve the outsourced definition of success.

Investors use their money to control you and hoping that you will hit their definition of success.

Now, how about this question.

How successful I want my startup to be?

When you ask this question to yourself, you basically take control over your own destiny. You define your own success goal or goals and you put your mind to work instead of idling.

For example, when Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Microsoft, they had a long term vision and dreamed about their software being used by every household.

bill gates and Paul allen

Microsoft became a giant and in my view, a very successful software company because the founders defined their own success way before they are successful. They just work their way up to the goal post they planted themselves, not by someone else and definitely not by some external investors. They make use of investors money to reach their goal.

When they achieved their target... I'm pretty sure their inner souls told them that they had arrived.

Another example, President John F. Kennedy said: "I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth."

That's it, a goal post was planted and President Kennedy mustered up the might of entire US population to reach the goal before the end of the decade and of course, the rest is history.

Oh ok, not that relevant to your generation? Another example, the founders of Google - Larry and Sergey's mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” and they created a search engine that realized their mission.

Google founders in their garage

So, you will need to ask yourself which questions that you want to start with?

How to launch successful startup versus how successful you want your startup to be.

First question - success will be determined by someone else. Second question - success will be determined by you.

Good luck!

Preview image credit: Ian Schneider

  See also : Human serves Machine versus Machine serves Human business model

By Adam Ng

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