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Entrepreneur Diaries: Playing MacGyver


Flexibility as a key driver of a startup’s success

July 16, 2013 11:17 by

By Muhammad Chbib

Founder & CEO,

Remember how Angus MacGyver always had a clever solution to seemingly unsolvable problems? Equipped with scientific knowledge and a Swiss-army knife, no situation was ever too tricky and a way out was found for every small or large snafu. What was his key to success? Flexibility. He never expected things to work out flawlessly, but actually considered the difficulties along the way.

Not that I would compare myself, and my business model to an action TV series, but a flexible mindset is what makes a difference between struggle and success in a start-up.

You might have a detailed business plan that tells you how the company should ideally function, but who says that reality will play along? Certain things can’t be tried and tested beforehand. Therefore as you grow, the processes are redefined and tweaked again and again, until they match the actual requirements, which also evolve with time.

Nothing is set in stone, so adjusting and ad-hoc alterations are the order of the day. Are members misunderstanding parts of the user interface? Then, change the design. Is the product mix going astray? Kick out what does not match your brand profile.

People signing up to be part of a startup environment should be willing to go out of their comfort zone on a regular basis. Job descriptions are by default vague at the beginning; everyone needs to help wherever he or she can. Were you hired as a marketer?

Well, don’t freak out when you are asked to contribute to the website content. Are you responsible for sourcing the range of products? Well, you might just have to do some on the spot soul-searching for that marketing strategy idea that the brand needs for a big public hit.

Even though it seems like startups are chaotic and messy, ideally, it is not always the case. Successful concepts anticipate change and complications. With a group of independent minds on board that are willing to develop, rather than merely execute, controlled chaos can lead to incredible creativity.

So with Swiss-army sharp minds and flexibility, one might not be able to handcraft solar-powered laser beams or electric gum wrappers, but without a doubt, build something great.


*Kipp invites new entrepreneurs to write about their experiences with launching, managing and growing their start-up companies in the region. This column will hopefully be the start of many to come in a series of the ‘Entrepreneur Diaries’. We ask you, as fresh entrepreneurs, to share your experiences with us and our readers. If you’d like to spread your wisdom, or simply tell us about your worst failures, contact us [email protected]

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1 Comment

  1. Mohamad Ouklah on July 17, 2013 5:00 am

    nice reading….:-)


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