John Kang WebMD | Startup Advice
John Kang of Web MD: How to Jump-start a Startup
It’s a common misconception that a great companies result from great business ideas. Good ideas are a dime a dozen. An idea for a business may be what puts you on the map, but it won’t get you anywhere until you plot a course and set sail. John Kang of the WebMD-Medical Manager Corporation merger that was valued at $20 Billion discusses what investors are looking for when they decide to bankroll an exciting new venture. Here are a few of his tips to help you grab their attention:
Clearly Define What Your Business Stands For
This one’s easier said than done. You might have all these ideas of what you want and how you want your business to run, but it’s probably more difficult to write it down in words. Figure out what the driving force behind your business is. Why do you exist? What do you care most about? What are your non-negotiables? An often quoted line in Google’s code of conduct is the company’s motto, “Don’t be evil.”
Right off the bat, you can tell from this one line that Google is not a profit-driven company. Google values doing the right thing. They want to distance themselves from the quintessential evil corporation. They believe that not being evil will be beneficial to the company in the long run.
Define Who Your Competitors Are
No matter how great your idea is, chances are good that someone has already thought of something at least similar to what you have in mind, or something that fills the same need. Before you go on to claim that your idea is unique and that nobody else has the insight that you do, back your claims up with research and facts.
Do A Market Study. Find out who your potential competitors are. Find out what they’re doing, what they’re doing wrong, and why. Perhaps more importantly, find out what they’re doing right, and how you can do it better.
Find a Mentor Who You Trust and Who Believes In You
All the great entrepreneurs have a mentor. Steve Jobs had Bill Campbel. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had Michael Bloomberg. Page went on to Mentor Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyers before she moved to Yahoo! Even Warren Buffet, the greatest living investor, credits his business school teacher Benjamin Graham for forming his foundational knowledge in economics.
A good mentor has been through nearly everything that you’re about to go through and can offer guidance based on first-hand experience.
As a final word, John Kang of the WebMD-Medical Manager Corporation merger, when an investor decides to fund a venture, they’re really deciding to put their faith in a person or a group of persons. One quality that most often look for is grit.
Grit is what separates talented musicians from world-class composers. Grit is having the ability to find rejection at every turn, but still maintain an unrelenting belief in your chances of success. The great thing about grit is that it doesn’t require any special talent or intellect. If you don’t have grit, you can always get some.