The She Hive made its way to NYC and it held no punches! Guest speaker Asmau Ahmad, CEO and founder of Plum Perfect, showed us that building a business in tech requires strategy, confidence and persistence. Trained as a chemical engineer, Asmau understands the importance of being both precise and thorough. Asmau’s Plum Perfect is a mobile technology that allows the user to submit a photo selfie, it then analyzes the content of that photo to recommend makeup products that work for your complexion.
During She Hive NYC 2016, Asmau shared with us how she navigated her path within the tech industry.
Here are some lessons we can take away from Asmau’s journey.
Your ability to stay alive as a startup is directly correlated to your ability to pivot quickly. This means that you need to learn what is moving very quickly and move directions. Do not get too emotionally invested in something that clearly isn’t working.
If you have been working on something that needs to be revamped, just make the necessary changes. You can either grow fast or die slowly, the choice is yours. If your startup does not have the funds to market itself, partner with bigger brands and let them do the marketing.
Data is king
Use data tracking tools that allow you to see how your users interact with your technology, Google Analytics and Mixpanel are some resources Asmau suggested. Listen to your users, read all of their reviews and make adjustments accordingly.
Your most enthusiastic customers and your most angry customers will be the ones who give the most feedback. Feed off the energy of your most enthusiastic customers and give them what they want.
Conversely, solve the problem of the angry customers and give them what they want too. You want to get to a happy zone with as many customers as possible.
Reach out to investors
Asmau said that she focused on mostly women-led investors to help push Plum Perfect forward. It’s important that you find investors that fall in line with your business interests. Choose one revenue model that you want to focus on, state what you want clearly and simply.
Investors need to know that you are well informed about the product you’re pitching. Know your numbers when presenting, what has been your ROI thus far? How much do you need to carry out your next endeavor? Get investors who not only give money but also invest time into your project.
Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. You do not always want to be the one with the best ideas in the room.
There are some instances where an investor will not take you seriously unless you have an MBA degree, it is validating for them. Asmau’s takeaway is that business school is not mandatory for running a successful business. If you have a viable business model and can think logically you can run a business.