Starting up

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Unfortunately, numerous high-tech entrepreneurs still follow the old
and ineffective method of trial and error, which results in an
astonishing statistic: only about one tenth of all new high-tech
companies survive and only about one tenth of all R&D projects
eventually become sellable products. There is undoubtedly a great
waste of human energy and material resources, which should be
avoided if possible.
The main challenge of entrepreneurs in any high-tech field is to
introduce more new ideas to the market. In addition to overcoming
scientific and technological risks, entrepreneurs must make many
difficult managerial decisions, to resolve many complex
interdisciplinary problems in a very short time, often under
constraints of limited resources and budgets, and with everchanging
market conditions. Most new entrepreneurs have neither
the knowledge nor the personal experience to create a successful
high-tech business; thus, they rely on intuitive thinking in multiple,
complex, and often uncertain situations. They wish for the best but
you know the rest….
Having spent my entire life as an entrepreneur and having
undergone my own trials and tribulations, I have always tried to
learn from my own experience as well as from that of my partner –
the high-tech veteran, Dr. Giora Dishon, and from my friends and
colleagues as well as many other knowledgeable people.
Moreover, I have tried to establish some clear, practical rules that
can be used to avoid mistakes in the future and to ensure that
creating and implementing technological innovations is achieved
productively and economically.
Many years ago I began solving this puzzle, starting with methods
of systematic creative thinking, and by further learning additional
different business and managerial aspects of high-tech
entrepreneurship, including studying recently different schemes of
startup funding. Finally, I have summarized all this experience in
the form of a new methodology of creating and transforming a new
technical idea into a healthy business, which is the essence of
successfully establishing a startup hi-tech company.
Several years ago I began teaching this methodology to M.S.
students (in electro-optical engineering) at Ben-Gurion University
of the Negev and have seen in real time how much their state of
mind has changed from naive intuitive ideas (though most of the
students study at the university as well as work in high-tech
companies) to well-conceived business, marketing, and managerial
strategies. Today, after completing this work and applying the
developed approach in my own on-going entrepreneurship
practice, I confidently can claim that the symbolic number of “one
tenth” results from improper management of the entrepreneurship
process. I sincerely believe that by adopting the presented
techniques, all entrepreneurs can achieve a much higher rate of
success.
The presented methodology, however, does not automatically
ensure success. It only provides guidance regarding what is the
most cost effective and expedient way of advancing and what is
the best method of searching for a solution. Thus, it assists in
analyzing problems, but it does not itself solve any of them—only
the entrepreneur himself can achieve this. It is a helpful tool for
entrepreneurs and R&D personnel to make their organized thinking
and work actions much more effective; in this way it can
significantly increase the probability of forthcoming commercial
success. Still, the personality, creativity, and professionalism of
entrepreneurs and R&D leaders remain the main success factors
governing any commercial venture.
This book consists of seven chapters, which are the main building
blocks of the entrepreneurship framework:
 Business opportunity
(market analysis and estimation of projected revenues)
 New product
(justification and specification of a new product)
 Business model
(finding a way of profitable operation)
 Innovative solution
(methods of inventing novel technical concepts)
 IP protection
(basic knowledge regarding protecting inventions by
patents)
 Developing products
(R&D project planning and management)
 Startup funding
(business plans, the funding process, and funding options)
I strongly believe that the main secret of success in establishing a
startup is in right managing all the above issues professionally,
without exception, and with the same degree of importance.
Mistakes in fulfilling even one step in establishing and maintaining
the startup will result in a failure either immediately, owing to a lack
of proper funding, or because of poor execution of the business
plan. I hope that this book will provide to high-tech entrepreneurs
sufficient awareness as well as a foundation of useful knowledge.
Hence, it will help them to avoid serious mistakes in their practice,
and consequently will significantly increase their chances of
success.
Since about 90% of this book is devoted to the methodology of
transforming a new technical or marketing idea into a successful
commercial product, I am sure that it will also be useful to R&D
personnel - scientists, engineers, and managers who deal with
product development in established high-tech companies, but who
do not see themselves as entrepreneurs and want to enhance their
professional and managerial skills.
I wish the readers of this book a fascinating journey to the magical
land of high-tech creativity and would like to write on your ship’s
flag only one slogan: “Put most of your efforts not just on reaching
your goal but on finding the right way of reaching it”. By doing so
and relying on established knowledge in all the necessary fields,
you will usually succeed in bringing your innovations to the market
quickly and efficiently and will make many people throughout the
world happier.
Sincerely,
Moshe Finarov