Through closely working with over 60 Syrian startups that joined Jusoor’s entrepreneurship competition, I observed many mistakes that most Syrian entrepreneurs make:
Not Handling Co-founder Conflicts Well
Every co-founder situation is different, but one common problem that keeps popping up revolves around ownership and control. Founders are important not because they are the only ones whose work has value, but also because a great founder can bring out the best work from everybody at his/her company.
Not Investing Enough Time in Their Team
Rei Inamoto, one of the most influential individuals in the marketing and creative industry today, says: “To run an efficient team, you only need three people: a Hipster, a Hacker, and a Hustler.” However, the majority of startups I’ve observed at Jusoor’s competition are oriented around one of the three while lacking one of them.
Validating Customers Too Late
The success of a startup isn’t about the idea, but rather about the execution! Being late to validate customers in order to “protect” your idea will cost you too much money and time later. Understanding your customer’s persona, whether they’re looking for value or a viable solution for a problem is an essential element for success.
Aiming For Local Markets Only
It is not wrong at all for startups in Syria to offer their products and services for local customers. However, limiting your market size -especially in the current situation in the country- would be a huge strategic mistake if you could extend.
Trying to provide everyone with everything
As a startup, your resources are restricted. Therefore, entering the market with many products will tear up your team, resources, and customers. It is always better to provide an excellent solution to a problem instead of many average solutions to many problems.
Diving Into Entrepreneurship Too Quickly
Jumping straight into the founder role, without closely observing how other successful founders work, leaves the door open to many simple mistakes that can be avoided with experience. Founding a startup requires a lot of knowledge and experience in many sectors. Joining another startup before founding your own helps you think of ways to manage your startup in the future.