Fred Schebesta is one of Australia’s top entrepreneurs and is best known for co-founding one of the world’s leading comparison websites, Finder.com. Today, Finder is in 83 countries and sees over 10 million visitors every month. Fred also leads Finder’s venture capital arm, Finder Ventures.
Reinvention for founders
Is reinvention necessary?
According to Fred: yes. “I have this thesis that every company would have to find a need to basically reinvent itself,” he explains. “Because otherwise you are boring and you’re stale and no one cares anymore, because something else has come along to grab people’s attention. And so this entire process, or this thing I’m working on, I see as one of those loops – one of those cycles of reinvention. And I think that’s what every company sort of facing right now is like, how do I become relevant again?”
The process of reinvention
So how does one start this process of reinvention or improvement? “The brutal question,” explains Fred, “is to ask, what’s the hard-fact, no-messing-around reason why people aren’t continuing to use us more?”
It sounds simple, but it makes a lot of sense. You can’t come up with a solution if you don’t know what the problem is. Is it an awareness issue? Are people just totally unaware of your existence? Is there a problem with your messaging, or packaging? Once you identify the barrier to business growth, you can begin formulating your strategy.
“When I think about these problems, I think how can I make this thing or package it or remodel it into such a way that it’s easier and better to consume? And in some ways that will change the product, but it’s the same underlying infrastructure in and of itself.” Fredillustrates this with a classic burger example:
“You get the cheeseburger. And instead of putting tomato sauce on it you put a barbecue sauce on, and suddenly you’ve got a new product and a new ad and everyone’s talking about the barbecue cheeseburger.” It’s a simple, cost-effective way to innovate or reinvent your product
But my business is already successful
Even if your business is successful, it’s worth looking at this process to see where you can improve. Because as we see in the cheeseburger example above, reinvention isn’t always necessarily about completely changing your offering.
“You could be a victim of success when you have succeeded,” Mike says thoughtfully. “And I see this a lot, I guess even in myself – sometimes I’d like to think not too often – but when there is a success, not many leaders are stopping and saying, but where are we bad? Where are we weak? We could be better. And then using that to drive innovation.”
What are some attributes every founder should have?
“I’m not sure exactly how to measure this,” starts Fred, “but there’s just a level of resilience… The person who gives up last tends to win, and it’s in so many different instances where someone has just kept plugging away, kept going and trying to find the answer. And eventually they break through.
That kind of resilience is I think, built into humanity. There is a certain level of suffering at a certain range that some people can take, and I think founders need an incredibly high tolerance when it comes to that.”
The process of reinvention and innovation doesn’t have to be a long and lonely one. If you’re looking for a software development partner to help you transform your current offering, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or book a consultation with us!