cockroach startup

After spending money in a blindfolded way, investors have now realized that it is time to end the age of the “unicorn” startups. They have thrown away a lot of money until now and it’s time that they should start thinking about saving their pockets. Investors are more concerned about the cockroach startups nowadays as these startups can keep running despite changing environments and market conditions. A cockroach startup doesn’t start for earning money or for burning money but for creating value for it’s customers.

So, why exactly do we term it a ‘cockroach startup’?

Cockroaches have outlived the dooms day and the extinction of the dinosaurs. They can survive without food for six long weeks and are not choosy about anything they eat. In one word, they are adaptable. And this is exactly the criteria for startups to sustain in today’s hair breadth competition.

You all must be familiar with the term, “Survival of the fittest”. The battle between the cockroaches and the unicorns in this startup era is no less and is exactly the same explained by Sir Charles Darwin. As usual, cockroaches, the less glamorous and more ghastly species is likely to take over the royal unicorns, as they are so called.

How can your startup become a cockroach startup?

As it is said, “Constraints inspire creativity”. So, you also need to walk on the road of some defined constraints to build a much awaited cockroach startup.

Consider bootstrapping before jumping for investments

Bootstrapping gives you real and the most valued experience while building your product. While bootstrapping, you are spending your money which you can’t afford to lose any way. So, you work harder and avoid mistakes as far as possible. If you avoid mistakes, you are more likely to survive and hence become a cockroach. On the other side of the coin, unicorns are burning VC’s money and even if they fail, the only thing they lose is time. So, they keep burning money and don’t sustain for long. Read here to know why bootstrapping is better than fund raising.

Rope in the best talent

As an entrepreneur, you will come across millions of people and you may find many deserving candidates for your startup. But how to determine who the best fit is?

Just don’t judge a person for your startup based on the talent they possess. It might happen that someone is highly talented but his lethargy is not helping you to reach anywhere. Startup is like a family, rather a small family. Other than definite roles, each of the members must be enthusiastic. Your team members must hold the same vision as you. This will only help you to grow at an exponential rate.

The best ones will be automatically filtered out when they will be working willingly for your startup. They will come up with new initiatives to flourish and for them, salary often doesn’t matter. The best members are the “growth-freaks” and you need exactly them to build a cockroach startup. You can’t afford to lose them. Keep reading here to know how you can retain the best talents to get recognized as a cockroach startup.

Wait and save some money

You are among those very few who feel that you are more than a “9-to-5”, right? Hence, you chose entrepreneurship. You want to be independent and rich. Well, this may not be as easy as you are thinking. Now, it is time to be patient, live below your means and avoid spending VC’s money on quirky office spaces.

The economy is like a gambling game; things may change any time suddenly without you even realizing it. If you want to be a cockroach, be prepared. Save some money now instead of running after fame like the unicorns. This money will be your own investment for the future and this is how big and successful companies work. They don’t depend on external investments but their own and this is exactly what you need to do.

Focus more on building a viable product

You can survive in the market only if you have a strong and irreplaceable product in hand. Also, while it is good to have a unique product, it should also be useful to the masses. Do a proper and wide scale research and build a viable product. It is also crucial to market your product properly but burning a lot of amount will make you a unicorn. A well-defined product is the pillar of any startup and if the base is not stable, even the best marketing tactics will fail to get you traction.

So, do you have a product/service that the audience would be happy to use? If yes, don’t worry about attention. Attention and focus will come running to you. For a real cockroach startup, it is the “need” that is primary. All the other things find place in the secondary zone.

Grow bit by bit every single day

If you are an entrepreneur, it means dreams are at the skyscraper level and your quota of dreams get finished in the day itself. But for becoming a great entrepreneur, you must live the reality. You must be far-sighted to experience the apocalypse beforehand. There is no need to hurry to scale up as what goes up rapidly, comes down rapidly as well. Be patient, acquire and improve your skills as an entrepreneur and grow bit by bit daily. The best part about this is success will come to you in the most deserving manner and you will be able to experience and realize every bit of it.

After all the not-so-deserving unicorns die, only few of the cockroach startups will survive in the market. They will be more visible and the mark that they will be leaving will become valuable. These will be the experienced and matured ones who have been solving the ‘real’ problem for years and have successfully survived through thick and thin times.

Pratibha Goenka

Passionate about entrepreneurship. Loves to follow her heart. An avid startup analyzer, a voracious reader and an ardent traveler.