Daniela Tudor has been involved in the Seattle and Los Angeles tech scene since 2007. Currently, she is a Partner of The Beats Running Group and Co-Founder / CEO of Pala-linq, a mobile application helping those in recovery from addictions. Outside of work, she has a diverse range of passions including music, travel, and giving back to the community. @danielaluzit
Daniela was recently interviewed by Nishika de Rosario for our Ask an Entrepreneur series…
How Do I Build A Startup In An Industry That I Have Never Worked In Before?
Before you make a decision to do so, make sure you have ONE thing aligned with this new industry you are about to break into: PASSION.
If you are not passionate about the industry you are looking to build a startup in where you have zero knowledge, I highly suggest you look for something else. The reason is, that there's going to be difficulties and if you lack passion and knowledge in the area, the motivation for making money will not be enough to enable you to make it through tough times until you reach success. PERIOD.
Now, that we have that sorted, here's a couple simple guidelines to build a startup in an area you have never worked before.
1. Be humble
You may be an expert in another field but all of that goes out the door when you enter a new field. You will not know their own unique industry lingo and you won't know the main players. Don't let that discourage you, just be humble and be open acknowledging the fact that you are there to learn and help the industry.
2. Question everything, while listening / reading up on everything
Being new to the industry puts you in a unique position to bring new perspectives that those on the inside may be missing out on; this is a HUGE value add that you will bring as you enter the new industry. Do not be afraid to question everything, but do it respectfully; this will also strengthen your relationship with those you are speaking with. At the same time, while you are questioning everything get INFORMED. This means reading up on everything you can and actively listening to people in the industry regardless of their position. You should be hungry to learn every aspect of the new industry you are looking to break into, and can include reading blogs, going to conferences, reading books and other publications that people in that industry recommend.
3. Network, network, network!
Google who the industry leaders are, do your research and go meet them! This means messaging them on LinkedIN, going to conferences, reading their literature and networking your way to meet the gatekeepers / leaders in the industry. Get these people to co-sign and support what you are working on. On the other hand, also build strong relationships with your local / small scale businesses in the industry. Having both sides of the coin in your corner will sky rocket you to success in the industry!
I started Pala-linq, a mobile application that integrates with activity trackers to provide accountability and connection for those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction to ultimately prevent relapse, due to my own journey into recovery. I had zero experience professionally in the addiction or medical space, but I did come from the tech industry and had built out a startup prior.
I implemented the steps above, and 12 months later we are funded and on schedule to release the product to the community and treatment centers in May! It's been a journey full of ups and downs and really it's just the beginning – every day there isn't anything else I'd rather be working on.
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