The path to becoming a successful entrepreneur and executive goes beyond an initial idea. Taking a strategic approach to identifying a sound and innovative initiative is required prior to kick-off, and will likely ensure the long-term success of a company. We asked technology CEO’s what they did prior to launching their companies, and the ways in which they attempted to differentiate their offerings from the market at large. Here’s what we learned:


Do your market research

Prior to diving into a new business, it’s critical to assess and understand potential customers. What do they need that is not currently available? What drives them? Sonny Vu of Misfit read over 5,000 Amazon reviews of varying products available at the time, while Simon Sollberger of Ultimate Ears took an intimate approach, spending time with future consumers to understand what they cared about and the emotional triggers they identified with.


Seek to identify a gap in the market

Research will often yield insight into the identification of unmet needs and segments, which offers valuable direction when envisioning the ways in which a new product or service will meet such. Post-reading through reviews online, Vu discovered that products were currently being developed without the end user in mind. He went on to add, “Wow, there’s a real opportunity here… especially for women.” Former CEO of Zepp Labs, Jason Fass, similarly came to discover that female consumers and athletes were an untapped market for his company’s data sensors.


Recognize market potential early on

The ability to scan an industry and identify future potential prior to competitors is an invaluable skill for any entrepreneur. Greg Fadul of Grace Digital recognized the internet boom and internet radio as a new technology with low adoption and few solutions, which offered an advantage to enter the market where others hadn’t. In addition, it’s important to understand that not every idea or observation needs to be monumental. Nick Weaver of Eero notes, “It’s these really simple concepts that can radically transform industries.”


Looking for additional insight? Tune in to the “Unconventional Genius” podcast on Libsyn.