2014 was a record-breaking year. In just twelve months 581,173 new UK businesses were registered with Companies House, substantially beating the figures for 2012 and 2013. These days, we're surrounded by start-ups - and perhaps for the first time, a new company has more allure than a long-established firm. This is particularly true in the digital arena, of course. Barely a week goes by without the announcement of a fabulous new app or website, set to take the world by storm. However, here's the unfortunate truth: for every SnapChat there's a Meerkat. That is to say, many digital start-ups will fail before they realise their potential. So what's the secret? How do you build a new enterprise from the ground up, transforming yourself into tycoon in the process? Here's a few words of wisdom from those who've been there:
1. "In my 20s I was thrashing around in the water, trying to keep my head above it. In my 30s, I realised it was only three feet deep and I stood up."
- Leslie Bradshaw (Jess3)
2. "Startups don’t win by attacking. They win by transcending. There are exceptions of course, but usually the way to win is to race ahead, not to stop and fight."
- Paul Graham (Viaweb)
3. "Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation."
- Satya Nadella (Microsoft)
4. "Making something people want includes making a company that people want to work for."
- Sahil Lavingia (Gumroad)
5. "Solve a real problem. You don’t start a company because you want to be an entrepreneur or the fame and glory that comes along with it. You become an entrepreneur to solve a real problem."
- Aaron Patzer (Mint)
6. "Being an entrepreneur is sexy… for those who haven’t done it. In reality it’s gritty, tough work where you will be filled with self doubt. Entrepreneurs are survivors."
- Mark Suster (Upfront Ventures)
7. "Writing code? That’s the easy part. Getting your application in the hands of users, and creating applications that people actually want to use – now that’s the hard stuff."
- Jeff Atwood (StackExchange)
8. "If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine."
- Jim Barksdale (Netscape)
9. "It’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better."
- Jonathan Ive (Apple)
10. "Don’t worry about failure, you only have to be right once."
- Drew Houston (Dropbox)
Magnus Shaw (copywriter and blogger)