Dubizzle founder shares formula for success

JC Butler gives tips and tricks to budding entrepreneurs in parting message

Tags: Dubizzle (www.dubizzle.com)E-commerceEntertainmentUnited Arab Emirates
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Dubizzle founder shares formula for success JC Butler was a co-founder of the UAE-based Dubizzle website.
By  JC Butler Published  January 23, 2014

As Sim [Whatley] and I wrap up our eight-and-a-half year journey of running Dubizzle’s operations - from sleeping in bunk-beds and working out of our living room, to leading a team of nearly 200 brilliant people across the region - I wanted to leave some parting words for entrepreneurs just starting their journey.

Some of you reading these words are in the same position as we were so many years ago – chasing an idea on no budget with nothing but the stubborn determination that somehow you will find success. Undoubtedly, years from now, many of you will have created massive value and your adventure will have led you to where Dubizzle is today. Hopefully, these words can lend a bit of guidance and inspiration along your path.

Over the years, Dubizzle has faced a lot of challenges. We’ve made some mistakes, and had even more wins. Along the way, we’ve learned a few things that we didn’t know when we started. Because of this, I’m often asked to give my advice to budding entrepreneurs in the region.

Always be solving a problem

As an entrepreneur your job is to pick a problem and solve it in a better and more efficient way than before. The bigger and more widespread the problem, and the better you are at solving it, the more success you will have. Ideas come second. They are the solutions you come up with to solve the problem. If you start with an idea, and then go looking for a problem, you're in trouble.

A lot of people assume that when we started Dubizzle we had moved here with the intention to start a "Craigslist" in the Middle East. That would have been a bad idea, and, had we done that, we probably would have failed. Instead, we came here looking for jobs, setting up our lives, and along the way discovered how inefficient the marketplace was. Everyone seemed to have this problem, and everyone was aware of it, we were just the first ones to decide we should solve it.

Start with the “why”. Not the “what”

If you haven’t seen Simon Sinek’s TED talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action, please Google it now. The message is simple: People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. The answer to “why?” is your vision. It’s what you as an organisation stand for. It’s the impact you intend to have on the world and your reason for existence. Why, beyond the sales pitch, should customers connect with you emotionally and brilliant people pick up your flag and join your cause?

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