Go Solo Interviews CTO/ Cofounder Zara Perumal
Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Zara shares her experience and tips with Go Solo
Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Zara shares her experience and tips with Go Solo (see full interview).
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find your why: Founding a company is intentionally making your life hard. There will be high highs and low lows. Blocking off time before you run into those lows on why you are doing this gives you a foundation to fall back on when it gets to touch. I try to block out time to think about and write down how I hope to contribute to the world and how I hope to grow in this experience.
- Talk to users and find the hair on fire problem: YC's pressure on talking to (hundreds) of users and finding the problem that's so urgent for them to solve they are willing to take a half-baked solution blew my mind this summer. Leaving a big company, I had to unlearn processes that were meant to deploy for billions of users. Forcing myself over and over to think about how we take the leanest possible approach to get some value to users quickly, talk to them, and adjust has been incredibly valuable. It's so tempting as a founder to think you have some "magical ideas" that don't need to be tested with users. We're always pushing ourselves to stay humble, talk to users, and test these assumptions over and over and over.
- Protect your emotions and stay optimistic. I've found that a negative headspace helps me find risks in a solution, while a positive one allows more flexibility and creativity to find solutions. As a founder, we have to be so creative in the ways we solve problems, from using technology to finding people to ally with. Staying on top of hints of burnout, connections with co-founders, and tracking sleep have helped me see warning sides in advance and keep problem-solving from a creative headspace.