Challenge your team

The most important thing that leads to startup success (even more-so than luck, timing, hard work and persistence) is solving a problem in a different way from competitors.

There are very few truly unique ideas, just iterations and evolutions. Success or failure is really determined by the uniqueness of the approach.

This is why it’s important to always challenge your team (or yourself) to go beyond the easy path. For a company like Trexity, it would be easy for us to follow the same path as our competitors and find a warehouse, hire a sorting team and end up looking exactly like everyone else. Trust me, we’ve thought about it, fantasized about how easy it would be to create a mimic. When we start leaning to looking like everyone else, we double-down on going in the opposite direction.

Challenges differ in every aspect of the business. It could be a different business model or a different target market to solve for. It could be automating aspects of the business that are very human-dependent. It may even be finding a way to not hire another person until a certain level of efficiency has been achieved.

Whatever it looks like for you, the main thing to do is to challenge your team to avoid taking the easy path. Every company that failed before you took it. Every company that has succeeded didn’t.