Entrepreneurs should plan less – Over founder

Entrepreneurs should plan less – Over founder

Budding entrepreneurs should spend less time planning and get products to market as soon as possible, according to Aaron Marshall, founder of Over.

HumanIPO reported last week Cape Town-based mobile app Over, which allows users to insert text and illustrations into photographs and has been downloaded more than 8 million times worldwide to date, was named the winner of the U-Start Global Pitch Competition, held in Milan, Italy.

Speaking at the sixth annual Net Prophet event in Cape Town, Marshall said entrepreneurs often wrongly get lost in administrative and legal tasks and business structuring when launching a new startup.

“Just build products and get them into people’s hands as soon as possible,” Marshall said.

This does not mean entrepreneurs should not do their research and know their market and other products, he said.

“To be a great creator, be a great consumer,” Marshall said, adding he spent over US$2,000 on downloading apps from the App Store in a bid to test out competition and really understand the market.

Entrepreneurs are often told to keep their ideas as simple as possible, Marshall said, but many don’t realise achieving the perception of simplicity is a very difficult task.

“Embrace the complexity, and find the simplicity,” he said.

According to the Over founder, entrepreneurs should focus less on a achieving a product-market fit, and more on finding what he referred to as a “passion-market fit”.

“Find something really special to you, something that really matters to you, and then find a market,” he said.

With over 8 million downloads of the Over app to date, and over 1 million active users each month, Marshall said his own perception of the app is shifting as user reports come in, and fuelling his ambitions to roll out tools which become vital in business.

“Maybe we can be the Adobe for mobile,” he said.

“Our goal is to be on your CV,” he said, adding he hopes using Over becomes a factor in employment decisions.

Having moved to Cape Town from the United States (US) a year ago, Marshall said entrepreneurs in Cape Town are uniquely lucky to be surrounded by the “ideal campus”, as opposed to the man-made environments frequent in the US.

Looking out the window to Robben Island, startups are “inspired by freedom”, while seeing Table Mountain reminds businesses of the importance of scale, he said.

“We have real things to inspire us.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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