It is very common for senior staff at big tech companies like Apple and Google to leave and branch out to pursue a n tr passion in their field of interest. The move from ‘big tech’ to FinTech is happening more and more. What makes for a successful move and what do these big tech people bring to their new ventures?
Perhaps one of the most important things to mention here is not to expect success too quickly. Startups are just that, do not expect to be raking in $1, million within your first month of business. There will be innumerable obstacles and challenges, all of which, will be opportunities for growth.
It is important to know what you are trying to achieve as a company, ensuring your mission motivates others around you in to action. Big tech names like Google, Apple, and Amazon are seen as huge disruptors even though they are huge organisations. This is partly because they maintain a vision which employees, stakeholders and customers are aligned with. Having a strong mission when starting a new company or business is essential. It helps you to firstly, organize your ideas and secondly, to find the best talent around – enabling new recruits to feel as excited about your project as you do.
One of the main contributors to success is not to act like you’re alone. Create something that increases scale benefits and that establishes common ground with other companies. If your business model is designed as an advantage to the ecosystem, rather than as a competitive threat, the impact this can have, will be far reaching. If you are able to develop a system that connects buyers, sellers, service-providers, this will provide you with the capabilities to alter how that particular industry works.
Successful transitioners from ‘big tech’ to FinTech do not look at the companies they have left as past endeavors but rather an ongoing powerful network of support. This mindset seems to be fairly unique to the tech community but many companies have embraced this outlook. As an example, there is the Xoogler community (X-Google), this is a group of previous and current google employees who work collaboratively on startups. This even attains support from Google. The tech community is always looking for new ideas and projects so it’s important that small business entrepreneurs ask for help and use their networks to leverage support in all aspects of business.
That goes for new parts of your network too, if you can casually drop your new startup into conversations around possible investors or people with some entrepreneurial influence, the worst that can happen is you receive more exposure.
Creativity is critical. It is important to view all problems from a fresh and solution-orientated perspective. This approach should be utilised in all aspects of a startup, from the technology used, to how data is stored etc. Marketing can be particularly difficult in a very regulated market, so it is important to come up with a quirky and original marketing strategy that will set you apart and leave people remembering your name and concept.
If you are venturing into a new sphere and perhaps bring a lot of technical knowledge to the business but lack experience in business or finance etc., it is important not to shy away from this. The gap in knowledge could be taken as a positive. If you come into a new situation with fresh eyes, you will be able to learn and understand what you do not know, but you can also create completely new systems and ways of doing this. This works particularly well if you’re working with someone who has a different skill set to you. Make use of the diversity and use it to bridge the knowledge gap.
In many ways, the big tech to FinTech movement is just another development in the tech industry which will impact all other industries, from healthcare to transportation to entertainment and beyond. There is an opportunity for technology to disrupt existing processes and systems, and we will continue to see big tech firms act as incubators for entrepreneurs trained in technological problem solving and creative ideation, who then leave to effect change elsewhere.