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This is what every startup founder should know from day one

This is what every startup founder should know from day one

This is what every startup founder should know from day one
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By CNBC-TV18 Sept 19, 2019 7:03:15 AM IST (Updated)

When examining startups that have made it -- one can safely say that they all inherit a very distinct set of values. And there's a very practical reason for a values-based, morally rigorous view of entrepreneurship.

How do you spot a successful entrepreneur or a startup? Some may look at its business model, others may parse financials, while few may spend time inspecting its past performance and what it promises for the future. Well, these are all good and worthy criteria to be looked at but what about values? Do we pay any heed to them?

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Simply put, values are the fundamental beliefs of an organization, the guiding principles that dictate how people should behave and act. And every startup needs to define it’s core values—right from day one.
When examining startups that have made it -- one can safely say that they all inherit a very distinct set of values. And there's a very practical reason for a values-based, morally rigorous view of entrepreneurship.
"You can only determine what somebody went through in their working careers by looking at their organizations but intuitively you can make your judgement, you could be wrong but you make your judgement about one’s value system, how they operate their business and one is not confused," Ratan Tata said in a candid conversation at TiECON Mumbai 2016.
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As Tata -- an industrialist, philanthropist and a former chairman of Tata Sons who now serves as its Chairman Emeritus -- pointed out, one may end up making a wrong call based on organisation's work history, but values are something that can never misguide you.
And the key to success is to align one’s enterprise to personal and professional values in order to thrive. Yet, what do those values entail?
Simply put, one needs to be a good human being before one can be a good businessperson! And crises are a true test of how firm one's value system is.
"I think everyone will agree – you will find out about a person’s values when you have a crisis and earlier you asked about what would you do if you are being threatened to being non-existent, that is also a crisis and that is a mark of leadership in terms of how you deal with it," the 81-year-old industry veteran said.
Tata took the example of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to explain his point.
"It has happened in the business world, you look at the company like Apple. If you consider it akin to a start-up as it was in those days, did some very interesting work but was eclipsed. The founder was thrown out, the company subsequently almost went bankrupt, they brought the founder back, Steve Jobs made it to the most profitable and the most – certainly the largest company in the world."
The example highlights why all startups need to outline their core values in order to build a customer base, make sales, and secure a place in the market. Your business can go to many places, but it won’t go far if you don’t even know what defines it.
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