Mark Little: "Too many start-ups start with a whiteboard" 3 years ago

Mark Little: "Too many start-ups start with a whiteboard"

"It doesn't start with the idea, it starts with the problem."

A quick Google of what defines an entrepreneur is sure to include something along the lines of "someone willing to risk money to make money." If that is the case, those willing to make that leap of faith will need to have more than a small bit of belief in their idea.


Nothing breeds solutions quite as fast as a crisis, and Irish entrepreneur Mark Little believes that's exactly where your business idea should come from. The Co-Founder and CEO of Kinzen was on the latest episode of All In, backed by AIB, and spoke about what makes up the entrepreneurial mindset:

"It's not such a thing you get gifted by God on high, who sits down and says 'there's your mindset.' I think it is fashioned out of real struggle.

"You have to be a certain type of person to take the risk in the first place. It's that classic formulation of 'if not me, who?'


No matter how well planned out your business idea may be, Mark said it should always come from the perspective of solving problems. A start-up with every single aspect of the company planned out is no use if there isn't someone on the outside willing to spend money on it.

As Mark said himself, being of help to someone is the basic foundation on which to build a business:

"It doesn't start with the idea, it starts with the problem.

"It starts with a human being, someone you can meet and you know they've got a problem.


"In many cases because you're an entrepreneur you may have lived that problem yourself so you know it really intimately. It's that problem, rather than a solution. Too many start-ups start with a whiteboard."

Learn from mistakes

Few businesses start with this mindset, and there's a case to be made for it being the difference between success and failure. Those few that do are, according to Mark, tend to be that bit more prepared to deal with the many obstacles in the path of those setting up a new business:

"There's a brain chemistry here. Endurance is survival, the back of your brain, it's your fight or flight mechanism, it's where all your bad decisions happen.


"Really, the job is to lean forward to the front of your brain where the computer is hitting there to make rational decisions, and that's resilience. Fight or flight survival will lead you down the wrong path every time as an entrepreneur.

Success is the aim, but learning from your mistakes is most certainly a key step on your path to success:

"Think about everyday, failing that little bit, learning.

"Next day fail a little bit again, learn from that and hopefully you're momentum will be gradually up and up until you get the hockey stick."


All In, backed by AIB, is available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Wednesday.