Our Bright Ideas series asks successful entrepreneurs how they came up with their great business idea, and what advice they'd offer other entrepreneurs. Today we hear from Tal Zvi Nathanel, co-founder of MyCheck — a three-year-old company offering a payment technology that makes paying the check at an establishment easier and faster.
Business News Daily: What does your business do?
Tal Zvi Nathanel: MyCheck is a payment technology that enhances the customer and merchant experience by integrating to the point of sale, allowing users to view, split and pay the bill in real time directly from their mobile device.
The technology comes in three forms: a standalone consumer app that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play, a white label platform that has been adopted by many restaurant chains, and as a "MyCheck Inside" capability that powers other consumer apps aimed at the hospitality sector. The technology has been adopted by industry giants such as PayPal, Isracard (MasterCard's licensee in Israel) and others.Tal Zvi Nathanel
BND: Where did you get the idea for your business?
T.Z.N.: MyCheck started three years ago as an idea over "too much sake." While sitting with a friend at a Tel Aviv bar, I imaged a perfect world where I would be able to wave my phone, pay for our drinks and walk out without waiting for the check.
BND: What three things go into a successful business idea?
- A good dream
- A good team
- And the power to execute
I always say that startups are like a roller coaster. Sometimes you're up. Sometimes you're down, and most of the time you feel like you're being jolted from one direction to another when you're least expecting it, but if you don't feel that way you aren't moving fast enough.
BND: What's the biggest mistake people make when starting a business?
T.Z.N.: The biggest mistake is listening to other people. If I were to define what a startup is, it would be that you are doing something that someone has not thought of before, which is exactly why it's impossible to judge yourself according to any standard besides the one you give yourself.
BND: How do you know if your business idea has broad appeal?
T.Z.N.: The first step to see if a business idea has broad appeal is whether or not other people recognize the same problem. The second step is the hard part, which is to see whether or not your solution is adopted.
BND: How did you test your business idea?
T.Z.N.: In order to test a business idea, you must first create the most basic form of a solution. Simply identify the basic need and throw it out there to test. Who is going to test the idea, you ask? The unspoken secret of the three F's: Friends, Family and Fools.
[For more business ideas, visit our Business Ideas Section.]
BND: What advice would you give to someone who thinks they have a great business idea?
T.Z.N.: My advice is simple: research, research and more research. There is so much available information out there.
You can also learn a tremendous amount from other people's successes and failures. Even if your idea is known, maybe there is a better way to do it. I've also found that many times through your journey, you will come up with many other brilliant ideas as well.
All products start with a need, a problem, and if no one else recognizes what you define as a problem to really be a reality, it can either be a huge opportunity or just a personal need.
BND: Where do you look for inspiration when you are trying to find new ideas or ways to grow your business?
T.Z.N.: For inspiration, I look anywhere other than the business or anything around it. Your head is already automatically trying to apply its surroundings to your business and most days, we keep thinking about the same ideas inside our brains and often get the same results.
The only way I find to innovate is to expose yourself to new things, from any field or subject.