You ever bump into those co-founders of multiple start-ups at events or bars? We all know it’s not easy to start a business, let alone being successful so it’s always energizing to meet these young fellas with nice belts and shiny business cards that smell like success. Impressive. We wish everybody in the country had that kind of confidence. So, for our fellow readers who aspire to one day lead the country to become an economic powerhouse, we interviewed 136 co-founders and 47 CEOs of various startups and came up with a few tips on how to build a start-up in Myanmar 4.0.
Let’s walk through this.
1. Drop out of College
First of all, you must drop out of college. Ever heard of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg? Guess what? They were all college dropouts. So, cut all the education now. The less education you have, the more chances you have in looking like a real potential of the start-up world. If you are still in high school, even better, drop out already. If you are already graduated, too bad. Well, you might still have a shot but you will never be as cool as those Steve boys. And if anybody tells you that you are not Mark Zuckerberg or Myanmar will never produce a true entrepreneur as successful as Steve Jobs in a million years, tell them to get the fuck away from you because you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
2. Get a Mac
Not a burger. I mean, get a Macbook. No matter what your start-up does, it’s important that you use a mac to show you are the real deal that cares so much about design and creativity. Seriously, if you want to show you are about to conquer the business world, nothing comes close to an Apple product which was born out of a garage at the magic hands of arguably the greatest entrepreneur of all time. So, go get yourself a MacBook and bring it to cafes, restaurants, parks and cinemas, airports, toilets and everywhere you can think of. Also, wherever you are, remember to sit on the floor and work on your mac if your knees allow. Again, your business really doesn’t have to be related to either digital or computer remotely. Just do it.
3. Business Model & Vertical Integration
This point has to be the most important factor and a core value of everybody who’s going to spearhead a new business in Myanmar. Business model & vertical integration: you have to remember and include these terms into everyday conversations. No matter whether it’s your grab driver or your family member or company meeting or chitchat, you have to wait for every opportunity to mention these terms. Even if those opportunities do not arrive, just say them out of the blue. And the best part is you don’t really have to know what these stand for, nobody cares. Just say the words every 5 minutes.
Alternative Terms: Customer Acquisition, Glocalization, 4.0, Cash Flow, B2B B2C
4. Print T-Shirts
Print t-shirts. Like a lot. Print t-shirts in as many colors and designs as possible. And make your friends wear them everywhere they go. Also it’s a bonus point if you wear the same colored t-shirts almost every day. Let people notice that.
5. Always Be Co-founder
What’s the last time you ever heard of a term called “founder”? Kindergarten? Probably right. It’s just so old and cliché. But what’s not so cliché and applies the exact opposite meaning of founder? Co-founder. Go with it. It doesn’t matter if you have zero partner in your business or your business is not really “founded” type, just be co-founder. Always be co-founder. It may not mean so much elsewhere but it goes a long way on a name card.
6. Validate Fellow Co-founders
Now as a co-founder of a promising start-up, there are places you must go such as networking events, start-up challenges and funding tournaments etc. When you go to those places and come across fellow co-founders, it’s important that you recognize them, acknowledge them and legitimate them. That’s one of the smart ways you can get validated back instantly and it is a non-zero sum game. One similar example is on LinkedIn where you and your buddy endorse each other which doesn’t mean anything but people are likely to see that and think you guys are legit. So, go to events, enjoy yourself and activate your start-up rader.
Here’s an old zoo joke that’s totally unrelated to this.
A cheap zoo lost its gorilla and instead of getting another one they hired a guy to wear a gorilla costume. When the people came to see him he pounded his chest and moved like a gorilla. It was all fun and game until one day, the bottom of his cage broke and he fell into the lion’s cage. He started screaming and yelling “help me, help me”. The Lion ran to him and said, “Shut up! You are going to get us both fired!”
7. Do not Grind
Last but not the least, to get your start-up recognized, do not work hard. Do not grind. You heard it right. Here’s a popular saying: “A great company is more likely to die of indigestion from too much opportunity than starvation from too little”. So, opportunities will come and go but you wait for one giant moment to shine. So, wear your t-shirts, enjoy parties and do not work hard.
You are welcome.
Zwe Oak Soe 4.0