What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
“If you are thinking about solving a problem, start with talking to your potential customers first. They will help create your first MVP [minimum viable product] and go from there. Your model will likely change five times, so don't focus too much on the economics at first. Create something people will love to use and keep using to solve their problem.”
What is your advice for entrepreneurs in your industry specifically?
“Be genuine and help raise the bar in this skin care industry. I got into this industry because of the lack of regulations and how it is a wild wild west moment right now. With my background with pharmaceuticals and FDA, I strongly feel there needs to be more transparency and ownership in how brands market their products to customers. Ultimately, data should be the driving force for marketing claims. Our platform does this by offering evidence-based, AI-enabled skin care recommendations for our users.”
What is your advice for coming up with a unique startup idea?
“Unique ideas should also be an idea [a] customer is willing to pay for. An idea is only worth a little. Ultimately how to package it, market it, and execute on it will [be] the true success ingredient and what makes your startup valuable. So don't shy away from a less unique idea as long as it's solving a problem in a much better way. Having competition is good because it validates your market existence.”
What is your advice for overcoming challenges and failure?
“It's bound to happen, so just expect them — it will keep you more sane and better prepared to handle them. Don't be very reactive to every problem that comes to your desk. Think through all angles of how it affects your north star before making any prompt decisions.”
What is the biggest lesson you learned and what can aspiring entrepreneurs take from it?
“Don't add too many layers of bells/whistles to your product at an early stage. It will be expensive, hard to market, and people will be very confused as to what your product does.”