Be Genuinely Excited about Technology and the Future
If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you need a genuine excitement for the technology and the future.
If you are in the tech business, you have to love technology. Most people in the tech business have no problem with falling in love with technology. But even if you are not in the tech business, you should not shy away from technology.
Human life is far more exciting and comfortable than most other species because we are good with technology. Every piece of technology that we have invented has made our life easier. Language, printing press, radio, transportation, electricity, internet and the list goes on.
If you love technology and get excited about the future, you will also learn how to use technology to the maximum extent. Making a good use of technology is an advantage that you will have over your competitors.
For example, many people in the lending and finance business became obsolete because they couldn’t computerize their business. Companies who could embrace technology and upgrade their process became more efficient and won over people who were less efficient.
If you do not embrace technology, you will lose out to the people who can embrace it and learn to use it to the best.
The Layers of Technology
You also have to understand that technology comes in different layers. Some layers are built on top of each other and some layers run parallel.
For example, the WordPress blog that I am using to publish my thoughts to the world is a piece of technology. It is built on top of the technology called browser. Which is built on top of the operating system. The OS sits on top of the hardware.
The hardware is made possible because of the manufacturing technology. Manufacturing is built on top of transportation. Transportation is built on top of many things including the technology of a wheel.
Once you start identifying how technology is shaping our lives and how they are built on layers, you will make technology your friend. You will become eager to learn about new technology.
Technology will no longer create anxiety for you. And you will understand that there is no such thing as complex technology.
If you try to approach a layer without understanding the layers below it, it will look complex. But if you understand the layers, you will also understand the simplicity of each layer.
For example, if you do not understand that computers are made of hardware and software, learning to use an operating system could cause anxiety for you. If you understand how the layers come together, you will be able to master a layer of your choice.
You do not need to understand every layer in depth. But you need to have a basic understanding of how they are built.
For example, I do not know how a semi-conductor and a processor works. But I do understand how the OS works and how to use technology that sits on top of the OS, like apps and websites.
Invest in the Right Technology
When you are running a startup, you have to be frugal. But just like I advise entrepreneurs to pay professionals well, I would advise you to invest well in technology.
Investment in people’s learning, technology and branding gives the highest ROI for a startup.
You also have to be careful not to get carried away by the latest and shiny object that claims itself to be “technology”. There are many businessmen who understand that there is a huge demand in the market for “new and improved”. They will package something that is regular and make it shiny.
If you understand technology and love it, there is a very little chance that you will fall for it. One easy rule to keep in mind when evaluating technology is that: Does the technology make human’s life easier?
A technology that can consume less time, money and energy for the same kind of output is a better technology. Some technology is disguised as the next big thing but it doesn’t necessarily add any value to human life.
Understanding how technology works and being excited about it also helps you become a better tech entrepreneur.
In the long term, tech entrepreneurs will always have a competitive advantage over the competition who cannot be innovative with technology.
Innovation is one of the key strengths in a business that cannot be easily replaced or outsourced. Startups that embrace technology and innovation will always have a competitive edge.
Growth Hack Your Way to Success
Growth hacking is simply the ability to be an early user of the right technology. Every good growth hack in the long term becomes a traditional business practice.
When search engines started becoming mainstream, many people did not understand how search ads worked. It was a piece of new technology. People who were not uncomfortable using the new technology were able to reap the maximum benefit out of it.
Young teenage kids who figured out how search ads worked starting making as much as $10,000 a month promoting products as an affiliate.
Businesses who started using search ads to their advantage were able to gain a massive advantage over their competition. It was a growth hack to start with. Now all the companies are using search ads. It has become a traditional marketing activity.
So always be in the lookout of new technology. Subscribe to tech blogs and magazines. Understand technology across different streams. Be curious about how a car works, how a lamp works, how a computer works and so on.
Unless you are curious and excited about technology, you will not be able to spot an upcoming trend. Unless you can spot an upcoming trend, you can never be an early mover to use that technology.
To be honest, technology is not THAT hard to learn and understand. All you need is some curiosity.
There are plenty of videos nowadays that makes technology very easy to understand technology. Watch more documentaries and tech YouTube channels. Understand physics.
Read user manuals and learn to use the technology you already have in a better way. We all have gadgets around us that are not being used to its maximum potential because we are too lazy to learn to use it better, starting with the washing machine.
Start small and over time learning about technology could become your most rewarding hobby. And it will give you a massive advantage over your competition.
So go ahead and start learning how to use that piece of technology that you always shied away from. Change your interest to technology from other interests which do not serve you as an entrepreneur.
As I have mentioned in earlier chapters, entrepreneurship doesn’t demand a part of you, it demands all of you.
So unless EVERYTHING in your life is somehow aligned to help you in entrepreneurship, you will always lose out to the better men that can align everything towards entrepreneurship.
Every aspect of my life is going contribute in a small or a large way towards my entrepreneurship success. That’s how I have chosen my life priorities. That’s what the best entrepreneurs in the world do. That’s the kind of obsession you need to have, to make your startup succeed.