In the world of product development, startups have long been admired for their agility, creativity, and ability to develop unique approaches with limited resources. However, mature or established businesses that follow a startup approach can gain a distinct competitive advantage.
While startups strive to gain recognition, established businesses fight to retain it. Startups are often unencumbered by organisational formalities, while established organisations can get bogged down in bureaucracy. On the other hand, established organisations have time-tested protocols and strategies, while startups are navigating some challenges for the first time.
To succeed in the long term, established businesses need to learn from the startup approach and leverage their existing strengths. So what can businesses learn from startups?
Get closer to your customers
- One of the biggest advantages that startups have is their proximity to their customers. With smaller teams and fewer formalities, startups can get direct feedback from customers and use it to quickly iterate on their products. Established businesses can replicate this by breaking down the barriers between development teams and customers, allowing for more direct and agile feedback loops.
Be truly customer-centric
- Canva is a great example of a customer-centric company that started small and grew to become a world-class product. By digging deep to understand their customer’s pain points, Canva was able to develop a product that truly resonated with their target audience. And by using agile processes and direct customer feedback, they were able to quickly iterate on their product and refine it almost to perfection.
Embrace agility and adaptiveness
- One of the biggest advantages that startups have is their ability to be agile and adaptive in the product development process. With fewer formalities and less red tape, startups can make quick decisions and changes in response to customer feedback. Established businesses can replicate this approach by implementing more efficient approval processes and breaking down silos between teams.
Leverage creativity to overcome resource limitations
- Startups often have limited resources compared to established businesses, but that doesn’t stop them from finding creative ways to get around those limitations. Established businesses can learn from this approach by embracing creativity and innovation in their own product development processes.
Focus on what matters
- Ultimately, the key to successful product development is to focus on what matters most: the customer. By truly understanding their needs and pain points, and using that feedback to guide the development process, businesses of all sizes can develop products that truly resonate with their target audience.
By combining the strengths of established businesses with the agility and creativity of startups, companies can create a culture of innovation that drives continuous improvement and growth.
Overall, by embracing the startup approach while leveraging their existing strengths, established businesses can create a culture of innovation that drives long-term growth and success. The key is to find a balance between established practices and new, agile ways of working.