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Does your company really have what it takes to be big?


It’s important for early stage businesses to react to the world quickly and to treat every experience as an experiment. Does your company have what it takes to be big?

There are entrepreneurs out there who feel that you can start your own tech startup as long as you know the tech basics. Others though think to understand a technology market is key. George John, the CEO of the programmatic advertising firm, Rocket Fuel, found that the main factors do not just rely on these two aspects, but you also need to know the fundamentals of how to build a company. As well as that the importance of working with co-founders who you know and trust is important to get the right fit, “or spend the energy ‘dating’ to get the right fit” – John then goes on to say that “it’s imperative to react to the world quickly and to tell each other that something’s not working.”

Retaining a team that can understand a technology market is important for the engineers at Rocket Fuel to push through new ideas: “it’s creating better results for their customers or better economics for the company.” John relies on Rocket Fuel’s unique selling point, offered to new engineers being recruited at Rocket Fuel, for the increasing growth of the business. “You will find in other companies, that you will be a part of a new feature and maybe marketing will mention it on the brochure, or sales will mention it, maybe they won’t. Engineers love knowing they’re making an impact.”

In September 2013, Rocket Fuel announced its IPO to the world. John believes that going public made the business feel like they had “arrived” and solidified their reputation as a brand. “I think it helped a lot of companies take us more seriously once we had gone public.”

John directs his closing message to aspiring entrepreneurs by focusing on treating every experience as an experiment, to learn and iterate regularly. “Even before you decided to build this business, you want to look at the assets you’re bringing and ask yourself: “Could this be big?”” John emphasises the importance of how entrepreneurs need to understand a technology market to increase the odds of success, “…being deliberate and thoughtful and really trying to understand what you have and the surrounding markets, you’ve got what it takes to create a success.”