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10 Crucial Tips On Startups From Michael Acton Smith

Michael Acton Smith OBE is the founder of Mind Candy and creator of the hugely successful, Moshi Monsters. Earlier on in his entrepreneurial career he had made an online retail business for crazy products. He named it ‘Hotbox’ which became awkward when he found out what ‘Hotbox’ was. He says “My first company was called Hotbox.com, but we had to change the name when I realised that was a porn site. My mum was telling all her friends to check it out, which led to a few heart attacks.” After they found out, they later changed the name into ‘Firebox’. He liked games too so he created a few of them. The first game was ‘Perplexcity’, a global treasure hunt game where they had buried a £100.000 treasure. This product ended up becoming a failure, but that is exactly the point which Michael wants to bring into attention. His first point in making  a killer startup is about making beautiful mistakes. By making these mistakes you can see what does not work and it will make it easier for you to see what eventually will work. Bursting with ideas Michael kept on adding things up to the main idea, until one of his investors spoke to him in private. The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing, do one thing really well instead of doing multiple half things. Rather than giving a presentation, tell your story when talking about your startup, this causes people to be more engaged. Work hard and be nice to people. Working hard is obvious, but the core of business is people. The ones you are trying to cooperate with, the ones you want to sell your products to, the ones you want to inspire, these are core to business. Michael values Emotional Quotient rather than Intellectual Quotient, the ability to really empathize with people and understand what people are thinking. Steve Jobs ‘Stay hungry Stay foolish’ mantra is also one of the points that Michael stresses on. When you are launching a new startup you have to be passionate about it, be hungry for every little bit of information. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQYth3j-z9k  ]]>

─ February 1, 2016