When it comes to his approach to life, Amarit Chareonphan is as unconventional as they come - and also very effective at what he does. Known to his many friends as Aim, and for his energetic approach to life, the visionary group CEO & co-founder of HUBBA instigates inspiration wherever he goes and already has an impressive string of entrepreneurial accomplishments. Last year at age 29, he was featured on Forbes' 30 Under 30 2016: Asia citing his role as an evangelist for Thai startups. Aim is also the co-founder of Techsauce, which resulted from a partnership between HUBBA and Thumbsup media. Here Aim dishes on 5 of his best - and most unconventional - tips for those who are thinking of starting their own business.


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Aim at HUBBA's flagship coworking space for tech startups on Ekamai Soi 4

You want to start an online business, but you still don’t know how to go about it.

You have this app or business idea. You have a friend (or friend of a friend) who’s in a startup, or who made a million dollars on it. You wanna make a positive impact, but you’ve never run a business before. You can’t code and you don’t know where to find developers.

And you've probably heard that 90% of businesses fail and it’s not because of bad ideas or poor financial projections. Most companies fail due to human factors - team and customers.

The good news is, there’s actually a way to do it before risking it all to one idea.

With that in mind, here's an Unconventional To-Do List for a Future Business Owner.

Most companies fail due to human factors: team and customers. The good news is: there’s a way to do it before risking it all to one idea.

#1 Don’t Quit Your Job (Yet)

There’s a lot of inspirational bullshit out there telling you to “take the leap of faith.” And you know that if you start a business, life will be crazy - which sounds badass to certain extent.

But how do you know you really want it?

No pay-check, lower income, desperate for more time to do all the stuff you gotta do. How do you know if you’re ever ready? Before you go crazy on a startup, go crazy on your lifestyle:

  • Switch your weekend long nights or trips for hackathons
  • Build something after work-hours, work on weekends
  • Save as if you had less than ¼ of your salary

This will give you the closest experience to a startup life while also getting you mentally and financially prepared to it.

Before you go crazy on a startup, go crazy on your lifestyle.

#2 Join at least 3 Hackathons

For those who do not know, hackathons are intensive events for people to build stuff over the weekend. It normally goes from late night Friday throughout a whole weekend; people have to stay up late and stuff while building a product or fixing a bug (thus the name which is recollective of a marathon).

While it ain’t easy staying up late or not sleeping, the results are rewarding when you see the product in the end, built in record time.

In a nutshell, a hackathon will:

  • Give you a sneak peek of the startup life: Experience how it feels to build something under pressure, from scratch.
  • Start your own “pipeline” to potential partners: You’ll share work, ideas, fun and some tough times with people who are crazy enough to do the same.
  • Test your stamina and confirm if you’re the right person, at the right time, to start it up.

A hackathon will give you a sneak peek of the startup life while testing your stamina and confirming if you’re the right person at the right time to start it up.

#3 Forget Ideas; Start Looking for Problems

If that sounds counterintuitive, yes it is. I know it doesn’t sound like the art of Zen, but building a great startup relies on the fact that a bunch of people in the world need some kind of solution and are ready to pay for it.

You'd better start from some problems that you are familiar with. Tips:

  • Choose only problems within a 3-km radius: Your own problem, a friend’s problem or even your current employer’s problems.
  • Prototype, test, repeat: Once you have a good problem and a willing-to-pay-customer, prototype and test if users understand your product intentions before you continue building the product of your (and only your) dreams.
  • Sell first, build later: Get someone to commit to pay before you even start: the best investors are always your first customers, equity-free!

Start from problems that you are familiar with. Choose only problems within a 3-km radius - your own problem, a friend’s problem or even your current employer’s problems.

#4  Be Lazy. Just Hack It.

Personal story: If I wasn’t focused on my business, I probably would have built an app which tells me when there’s a long line to the toilet before I get up to go there. Yes, I am that lazy. But I’d rather say I’m a great “personal-time-optimizer."

I don’t know how to code, but I know this: lazy people make great hackers. Why? Hacking simply means finding creative, unconventional ways to get something done.

We act smarter sometimes when we’re lazy.

Must-dos:

  • Stop working hard: Start replicating stuff rather than reinventing the wheel.
  • Ask yourself, “How can I repeat it 1000 times?” For each relevant task you execute to run your business, try to automate it.
  • Build to scale: Energy-saving matters as much as saving money.

Lazy people make great hackers. Why? Hacking simply means finding creative, unconventional ways to get something done. We act smarter sometimes when we’re lazy.

#5 Date First, Partner Later.

A friend of mine built her business with a coder she met at her first hackathon and they eventually sold their business - almost like in the Disney movies.

Startup fairy tales may happen, but you can’t count on it.

A good partnership is a mix of factors, but the bottom line is you should know your criteria and expose yourself to enough people before settling down with one true love.

Before partnering with someone, make sure to:

  • Work with people whose skills complement yours. Contrary to the old adage, great minds think rather differently.
  • Align vision, obsessions and values: Make sure they’re on board for the same vision and a similar road. If your values are aligned, the journey will be worthwhile.
  • Remember the hackathons tip? Yes... attend 3, not only one. That’s how you expose yourself to enough people and try it out before commitment.

From defining what is an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to your solution, to what is the best way to validate it before you've built it to the end, it is important to have diverse minds brainstorming a product before getting it done.

Startup fairy tales may happen, but you can’t count on it.

Contrary to the old adage, great minds think rather differently. Work with people whose skills complement yours.

 

In a Nutshell: One Hackathon Does It All

You really should get a taste of the startup life before you make any drastic decisions.

Joining intensive events such as hackathons can help you build not only a fun product that wins a competition, but a long-lasting solution which evolves into amazing products which are competitive in the market, winning customers in the real world.

If you never try, you will never know what would you have built - or the people you would have met and built it with. Get yourself a chair and get it done over a weekend!

Get yourself a chair and get it done over a weekend!

Next up: Hacking Hackathons: Tips and Tools When Attending Your First Hackathon ...stay tuned. ______________________ More about Amarit Charoenphan: Aim's passion and life's work has been to help people realize their dreams and become the most successful startups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers by building a vibrant, supportive startup ecosystem through the best coworking spaces, events, education, media and funding scenes. He is the cofounder of HUBBA, Thailand’s 1st coworking space and the Hub of Startups in Thailand, which currently serves 200+ active members and has served over 6,000 visitors over its 3 years of existence, and Hubba Stadium, which collaborates with corporates to host hackathons tailored to specific industries.

HUBBA is also the leader in activating the Thai technology startup ecosystem through events, conferences and media. With experience in organizing over 300 events, HUBBA is best known as the Co-Country Host of Geeks on a Plane's Southeast Asia tour in Thailand in 2013 and 2014, as well as organizing Start it Up Conference 2015 (via media joint venture Techsauce), Thailand’s top tech startup conference attended by over 800 people in 2015, which was then rebranded as Techsauce Summit and drew over 3500 people in 2016.

The group's ultimate goal is to create a vibrant technology startup ecosystem in Thailand through the creation of highly collaborative coworking communities, world renowned events and conferences, highly informative and Silicon Valley-style education and workshops and by spreading the word via the group's media arm Techsauce - to ultimately elevate Thai startups to a regional and global level and transform Thailand into a true digital economy and Bangkok into one of the major startup capitals of Asia.

Meet Aim and other startup ecosystem leaders at this year's Techsauce Global Summit 2017 on July 28-29 at the Bangkok Centara Grand Convention Centre.

See a full list of speakers and full info here: http://summit.techsauce.co

Book your tickets today & save – price goes up every month, so book now for the cheapest price: http://ow.ly/yfr3309Xnb5

To reserve spacing for booths, contact us at summit@techsauce.co

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