What does it take for the potential tech giants of tomorrow to make the journey from startup to listed company? This was the issue Pureprofile CEO Paul Chan was invited to address last night during a Q&A session organised by Swaab Attorneys and Stone & Chalk, a Sydney-based hub that accelerates the development of fintech startups.
The event shared the story of Pureprofile – from our early days as a small marketing and research business to the tech company we’ve become today – with an audience of entrepreneurs, tech investors and those passionate about driving local innovation in the fintech space.
With journalist Anne Fulwood hosting and acting as MC, Paul offered his insights on everything from the importance of a big vision to finding the right people to support you in the early days.
He also shared his real-life lessons for startup entrepreneurs hoping to go public one day. Here are his top five:
1) Have the courage to think big
A bigger vision protects you on a day-to-day basis from the many stressful challenges you’ll face as an entrepreneur. It also allows you to adapt quickly in a changing market, stay one step ahead of the competition, and even create your own product category, which is what Pureprofile is doing now with our media and publisher tools.
2) Delegate don’t abdicate
It’s important to learn how to delegate and have trust in your employees. But it’s equally important to give people confidence in their own decisions and be present and open enough for them to come to you if they have any problems or need advice. I’ve learned there’s a difference between positive delegation, where you invest time in handing over responsibilities, and abdication, where you hand something over and don’t follow it up and offer feedback.
3) You need to get things to 60%
That’s one piece of advice that’s always resonated with me. If you keep pushing too far beyond that, then the effort starts to outweigh the results. At first, this was a really tough idea for me to adopt and live by – the perfectionist in me wanted to strive to make things that little bit better. But if you spend too much time perfecting the small things that few people notice, you’ll never launch anything.
4) Fail fast, fail often
No one is going to go through life without experiencing failure, especially when you’re in business. It’s how you learn from your mistakes, adapt from the experience and use it to your advantage that defines your future success.
5) Be brave and go all in
I get asked all the time questions about starting a business from people who think they would love to become an entrepreneur and start their own business. But now I only give advice to people who have quit their jobs. I have all the support in the world for people brave enough to go all in. I think having your back against the wall produces some of the most power you’ll ever have as a person. This is why my favourite quote is "bravery is not absence of fear, it is how you manage fear".
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