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EntrepreneurshipInnovation

Starting the Right Way

We at Moonshot Pirates have one clear goal: 

Encouraging young minds to dream big & to walk their own path by fostering moonshot thinking & sparking the entrepreneurial spirit.

To do this we organize Bootcamps and an annual Festival where young pirates get together to develop cool ideas and turn them into tangible projects. After our events, we offer our pirates mentoring so they can keep on developing themselves and their ideas. 

One of these mentors is Kathrina Binder, Program Manager at Startup Accelerator and expert on how to ensure that ideas succeed. While it is one thing to have an epic idea, another thing is to actually make it succeed out there in the real world. So how do you turn your potential epic shit into successful epic shit?

The first thing you need to be aware of is that we are full of biases: We believe that our opinions and the way we see the world are the truth. They might be true for us, but not necessarily for our users and customers. That’s why it is important to ask them the right questions about their experiences, their needs, and their wishes. 

The second thing you should know is that people, especially those we are close to, are quite willing to lie to us in order not to hurt us. They mean well, but by lying to us they are harming us more than helping us. So hijack their kindness, never stop at kind compliments, and keep asking questions. 

But how do you really do this? Kathrina offers three guidelines that always work for her: 

  1. Focus on your customers instead of your idea! In this way, you will avoid your own biases and learn more about the life of your customers. 
  2. Ask about specifics instead of generics or opinions! This will also help you avoid lies. Be a fool and keep asking questions and digging for details. Don’t accept compliments and kind but empty words. 
  3. Talk less! Listen more! The more your customers talk, the more you will learn about them. So be grateful for everything you get! All feedback is good feedback. 

As a pirate with big ideas, you sometimes have to sail into foreign waters, seek the treasures of new knowledge and the insights of others there, and bring it all back home to develop your ideas further. As Steve Blank says: 

There are no facts inside your building, so get the heck outside.

– Steve Blank

Aye, Pirates, dare to learn and to explore the unknown, and you will be unstoppable! 

To learn more about the typical challenges of startups, get useful tips on how to make your ideas and projects succeed, and hear about the curiously named ”Mom Test”, watch Kathrina’s webinar below.


About Katharina Binder
Kathi runs the accelerator program ELEVATE by TheVentury, a program for early-stage startups in the area of Machine Learning and AI. She supports startups and corporates on innovation projects, specifically in the problem validation phase and deeply believes that listening to your customers and their problems helps you create better products and services. In her free time, she loves to write & could talk about Estonia & plants forever.

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