'You are your own worst enemy' - TechCentral

‘You are your own worst enemy’

Pavlo Phitidis

A technology start-up’s biggest enemy is technology itself, says local business incubator Aurik Business Accelerator.

Aurik CEO Pavlo Phitidis says technology innovation often becomes the be all and end all of a start-up and many of the other business processes get left behind.

“A good competence in technology can stifle you as a business,” says Phitidis.

He says skilled technicians get caught up in technology, spending more time on trying to make it perfect than trying to get a product to market. “The thing you fight with the most in a technology start-up is yourself,” he says.

According to Phitidis, technology businesses need to have a commercial face. “It’s commerce that sells, not technology,” he says.

The days of “build it and they will come” are over and technology start-ups need to learn a thing or two about commerce, or at least have someone in the business that already has.

“Too often technologists invest too much time in the lab because they can’t or don’t want to interface with the customer or the commercial side of the business,” he says. “You don’t have to give up on the vision of your technology idea, but you must make sure you have a solid go-to-market strategy to be successful.”

According to Phitidis, there is enough funding available in SA for tens of thousands of start-up technology businesses.

He says a solid business proposal, written in the correct language, can make all the difference when looking for seed funding. Another trick is to scale back the business plan. “The smaller you start, the smaller the chunk of the business a funder will want,” he says.  — Candice Jones, TechCentral

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