Building a startup that scales: lessons from experts

Two newly published books have been designed to serve as key sources to guide startups in building and scaling their business. In his book Michael Sauter focusses on product-market fit as a key prerequisite for strong, sustainable growth. Anil Sethi has written an essential guide to build, scale and sustain value for platform and tech startups. The Entrepreneurship Master class takes a different approach, providing videos series with practical advice from some of Switzerland’s most successful founders.

How do start-ups progress from initial sales to scaling, steadily acquiring more customers with fewer expenses and ultimately growing exponentially? This is the central question of Michael Sauter's book. The answer lies in the concept of product-market fit (PMF). According to Sauter, product-market fit is when the product solves a problem or satisfies a need so effectively that the market exerts a pull on the product.

The book is divided into three sections, the first of which - Understanding PMF - has already been published. This section lays the foundations including a definition, a description of the effects of PMF such as increase of customer lifetime value and increase of referrals, improved efficiency and profitability, as well as initial advice on how to achieve PMF. Achieving product-market fit is a combination of deep customer understanding, rapid iteration, data-driven insights, and unwavering persistence. It's a dynamic process, ever evolving as market conditions and customer preferences change. Managing this process requires time and focus and the attention of founders.

The book also provides numerous examples and learnings from start-ups and thus also tips in the first part. These include the fact that pre-mature scaling is very dangerous for start-ups. Focusing on PMF before scaling, on the other hand, is both cost-effective and strategic.

The first part of the book can be ordered for free at Michael Sauter's website PMF Factory. The second part will follow in June.

Anil Sethi: “From Startup to Unicorn” 

Anil Sethi is an Author, Academic and Entrepreneur. He has co-founded several companies including Flisom (sold), Scrona, Instaheat, Zurich Soft Robotics, and NexMR. He teaches entrepreneurship at several institutions including ETH Zurich and University of St. Gallen. His earlier book, "From Science to Startup", was published in 2016 and was recognised as one of the top five books in the world for innovation and entrepreneurship in 2017. He was also recognized as Associated Fellow by the UN initiative ‘Defeat NCD Partnership', which aims to address non-infectious diseases including cancer and diabetes in 90 countries around the world.

Entrepreneurship Masterclass — the first episode with Swiss unicorn founder launched 

The Entrepreneurship Masterclass, launched by Manuel Stagars, is a free video series providing startups at all stages with free valuable insights from Swiss founders who built and scaled successful companies. The first edition, with 12 episodes each between 10-30, features Dr. Ulf Grawunder, a prominent biotech entrepreneur, who shares his experiences in building and selling biotech companies like NBE-Therapeutics which he sold to Boehringer Ingelheim for $1.4 billion in 2021. The masterclass covers essential topics such as transitioning from academia to entrepreneurship, finance and fundraising, innovation, team building, and leadership. This initiative is designed to inspire and guide future biotech entrepreneurs with practical advice and real-world examples. The accompanying workbook is the companion for the video lessons. It summarizes each lesson with a short description, highlights and end-of-chapter questions to navigate the most important concepts. The Entrepreneurship Masterclass was initiated by Manuel Stagars, a serial entrepreneur and film director. His film production company 8GR8 Films tackles complex subjects in technology and science and makes them available to a broad audience.(RAN / SK)