Achieving Transparency in the Startup Business Model

With the successes of businesses and companies like Facebook, Apple, and Uber, startups are more common than ever, as many niche markets with a startup business model have proven to be lucrative. But starting a new business idea and finding success within it doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, failure is more likely because getting into the startup arena is risky, according to Forbes, since 90 percent of startups fail.

The ones who do succeed, however, may have entered their market with a solid startup business model at the perfect time, or simply had beginner’s luck. Whichever one, there’s a lot of valuable advice to be given for that industry but transparency isn’t always transparent. Why is transparency important for the startup industry? How can companies become more transparent in their success stories?

On an episode of “What Just Happened?“, Christine Russo interviewed Rand Fishkin, Cofounder and CEO of SparkToro, about his journey as a startup founder, becoming an SEO expert and leader, the challenges he confronted, acquiring investments, and lessons learned as a business owner.

Prior to being the cofounder of SparkToro, Fishkin co-founded Moz, a premier SEO website and blog. As one of the first SEO resource tools available, the website was one-of-a-kind and used its own honest story with SEO to earn itself a very committed audience. It was also a perfect time because this was when search engines were improving SEO, per Search Engine Journal. This allowed Moz to reach more people and make their name.

“Over time that did build up a reputation and a brand for this company. Many, many people found the blog — there were not a lot of transparent stories and resources to learn SEO at the time, so a lot of people came to that site,” said Fishkin.

Russo and Fishkin also talked about …

● The highs and lows that startups experience

● Potential concerns that come with fundraising and seeking investments from venture

● Fishkin’s events that encourage startup founders to be more transparentand discuss
adversity and struggles

“A lot of founders, when they get on stage, they tell you the rosy, glossed over the details, ‘Here’s how I’m the hero’ story, and I don’t get nearly as much value from that and I don’t love that nearly as much as the warts in all journeys,” said Fishkin.

Rand Fishkin is the Cofounder and CEO of SparkToro, a market research software company. He also founded Moz, which was one of the first SEO website tools available. Fishkin is an accomplished author; he has authored and co-authored books about SEO.

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