This means creating something out of nothing and constantly learning. It means continuously improving oneself and practically applying lessons learned to achieve goals while being committed, diligent, a team player, open to new ideas, and working towards being the very best in the world in a very narrow sector. It is also essential to be aware of our mistakes, learn from others, and be open to criticism.
In life, death is the default state, and there is no Plan B. Therefore, the only option is to win at life.
“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them,” said Michelle Obama.
It sounds simple enough, but we don’t think this way very often because it’s not in our nature. This is what working in startups teaches us: to stand up for yourself because ideas can take you places you couldn’t even imagine existed. Everything is possible; no matter how cheesy this may sound, life proves this every step of the way.
What can be learned from startups?
Startups or projects that run as startups usually have a very lean organization. Larger companies can adopt methodologies to be more efficient and gain an advantage over competitors while also keeping an eye on their processes, successes and, perhaps more importantly, failures.
There are many lessons to learn, and sometimes it is suitable for someone else to know and understand them so that you don’t have to make every mistake yourself. However, to succeed, it is almost necessary to fail several times. When you fail, you must pick yourself up and keep on going forward. It is easy to fail when your mindset says failure is normal. People fail every day, and that should not define anyone as a person. Consistent trying is key.
How do you encourage people to think more as startups do?
Two things. Firstly, storytelling has always held a tremendous influence in human history. Great stories inspire people. How many people have been inspired by Steve Jobs or Elon Musk to embrace the startup mindset? Probably many, myself included. Tell stories!
Secondly, building a startup is a series of experiments, and most experiments tend to fail. Because this happens, some people are afraid of experimenting at all.
I have noticed a common thought among people: Why risk fooling myself? We need to help people overcome their fear of failure. Instead of ridiculing them for their losses, we need to ensure they learn from them. An unsuccessful attempt is, in a sense, a successful experiment because now you have eliminated something that doesn’t work. And the more you know, the better decisions you can make.
Be bold; know that you are the best person to make the change and that changes start with actions. Take small steps and ask for forgiveness, not permission. When the team is autonomous, results are obtained faster by skipping command chains. Working in this way means the teams work closely with the product and can create a sustainable foundation that allows the entire company to grow quickly.
Spreading that way of thinking should start in the school system. It is vital to encourage children to discover new ideas and come up with something different. The courage to sometimes fail and learn from it are also essential skills to develop.
How do you implement a startup mindset within your company?
As mentioned earlier, wholesome, lifelong learning is essential. I would say that a startup and a large corporation with an established history are not polar opposites. It is only a matter of the way of thinking. We are also making changes to the management and technology in DHI, being among the first in the field to do everything we can to make DHI more flexible, innovative, and open in the future. As this is mainly an in-house development, we have launched the first steps to build new digital solutions using the startup approach in the coming years.
In conclusion, a startup mindset means being open to new ideas, commitment, and continuous learning. It means generating, building, and producing beautiful results from virtually nothing by constantly improving oneself. Thinking like a visionary, setting goals, focusing, and achieving can feel like evolving into a hero from scratch—from zero to hero!
Director, National Digital Identity by Druk Holding & Investments.