7 things I wish I’d known about making a tech start-up a success

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Shara Tochiah specializes in consulting for startups. She has worked internationally across the fitness, hospitality, retail & technology sectors and has founded start ups of her own in the past. Her latest venture DOSE is London’s answer to health and hedonism. Here, she reveals her best tips for making a start-up succeed and how to avoid the mistakes most start-ups make first time round.

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“Bad” Innovation Is Just What Your Company Needs

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It’s easy to spot and celebrate the innovations that change company fortunes: Apple’s iPhone, Warner-Lambert’s (and then Pfizer’s) Lipitor, Microsoft’s Windows, to name a few. What is harder to appreciate are those innovations that aren’t the blockbusters and home runs but nonetheless play a critical role in a company’s innovation strategy. I’m not talking about the incremental improvements, but rather the value of launching new products and services that hold tremendous value even though they don’t shoot for the moon.

What follows are four perfectly good reasons, aside from world domination, to pursue innovations.

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Dreams and Unconscious Creativity

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The unconscious mind works in strange and sometimes wonderful ways. The other night, I was awakened by a loud thunderstorm passing over the beach. I law awake in the dark room listening to the booms that echoed over us. Then I fell back asleep and dreamed.

In the dream my old friend Norman Lear was taping some segments for a TV show. He asked me on camera, “Why are so many classic fairy tales so violent?” It was a question I had never been asked, and had never really contemplated. But as a philosopher, you can ask me anything and I’ll start thinking about it—even in a dream.

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It’s Time For Everyone To Focus On Personal Branding (Even Spine Surgeons)

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I’m a huge advocate of personal branding. It’s how I built my online marketing consulting agency from the ground up, with no funding or investors, and it’s how I help my clients grow their brands.

Building a strong personal brand should be everyone’s focus. Why? Consumers want to connect with a person, not a faceless brand. A strong personal brand positions you as a thought leader in your industry, leading consumers to connect with your brand on a personal level.

Not only can your personal brand help attract new business, but it can help you connect with investors and put you in front of new opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been presented to you.

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Emoji Marketing: Another Fly In The Mobile Marketing Ointment?

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Not long ago, right here in these hallowed halls, as it were, I penned a piece with the not-so-upbeat title The Pathetic State Of Mobile Marketing And Advertising. The reason for my use of the word that is defined as being miserably or contemptibly inadequate was based on some findings of different mobile-related research.

Pathetic seemed to be the correct adjective given the fact that less than two in 10 advertisers consider themselves to be “advanced” when it comes to mobile and a mere 2 in 10 use personalization when it comes to their mobile endeavors.

So it is quite clear that far too many marketers and advertisers still don’t “get it” when it comes to mobile.

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Why We All Need Design Thinking

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Rather than being a creative activity, problem-solving sessions for many businesses are nothing more than an exercise in analytics.

And far too often, these sessions happen in boardrooms, where the false consensus effect is free to take hold. In these situations, company leaders often inadvertently reject creativity and ingenuity in favor of logical models.

The unintended consequence of this is that ideas that could benefit customers and generate long-term value often fall by the wayside.

Until now, that is …

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Nine Ways to Become More Creative in the Next 10 Minutes

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Modern culture often labels creativity as natural gift. Artists get showered with praise and proclamations of “you’re so talented,” but truthfully, talent has little to do with it.

Creativity is a skill to be learned, practiced, and developed, just like any other. Juggling takes practice, as does surfing, coding, and driving a car. Creativity is no different. The more you make creativity part of your daily life, the more it will grow.

So how do you make creativity part of your daily life? Here are nine suggestions—and guess what? You can get started on them all in the next 10 minutes.

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Why making your product packaging ‘smart’ can boost your marketing

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We’ve heard a great deal about how the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to transform our lives and change the way business is done. With IoT, everyday objects have network connectivity which allows them to send and receive data and making these objects smart.

For brands, this poses an enormous opportunity to connect and engage with consumers in unprecedented ways. So what has this got to do with packaging?

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