If you haven’t heard of the hit app Waze, I’ll quickly break it down for you. Waze is a company and app for your smartphone that makes driving easier. It can tell you about potential traffic delays, give you the most optimal route for getting to where you wanna go, and even allow you to set up carpools. Like any successful business, it took time and hard work to get where they are now. They didn’t always make the right decisions or handle situations perfectly while on their way to the top. Noam Bardin, the CEO of Waze, has learned a lot since Waze first began, and understands that the lessons he’s learned can be used to help other entrepreneurs succeed in their endeavors, especially in a world where we’re living with the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few leadership lessons from Noam Bardin, CEO of Waze.
Early Adopters Aren’t Always Helpful
When it comes to releasing a product into the world, such as Noam did with Waze, you’re going to have early adopters who are on board for the concept and those who tend to wait it out and see what those early adopters have to say. Noam believes that while early adopters are great, they’re not always as helpful as you might hope when you’re trying to determine the needs of a wider audience. You’ll likely have to work hard in order to bring early adopters on and it’s important to stay vigilant as making that leap from early adopters to a mainstream audience is where things really begin to escalate in difficulty, especially as something that an early adopter loves about your product may not work for a wider audience.
Be Willing To Let People Go If They’re Not Cutting It
When first starting your business venture, you may bring on a small team of passionate individuals to help you reach your goals and make your dreams a reality. While that small group may be integral to your business now, remember that this might not always be the case. For example, you may have a team member who performed exceptionally well when your company was only made up of 15 or so individuals. Once you become larger, it’s possible they just won’t perform to that same capacity. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses in the business world, so you have to be willing to let a teammate go if they’re just not the right fit for your business any longer.
Take Your Time Discovering Your Passions
When you’re in your 20s and fresh out of college, you’ll likely be thinking about your big business plan that’s going to set you up for life. Noam believes that at that age, you should take the time to find yourself and what you’re passionate about instead of focusing on your career. You may find that what your original business plans are something you don’t care about at all, and instead create a vision of something you’re truly passionate about.