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When Avishai Abrahami and co-founders Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kaplan were trying to create a website for their startup, they quickly realized it was overly complicated and expensive. So in 2006, they founded Wix (Nasdaq: WIX), a software company that provides users with cloud-based web development services.
Today, Wix offers a freemium business model and multiple customizable website templates and tools to support millions of businesses, organizations and individuals worldwide. The company went public in 2013 and has since acquired a number of other companies, including DeviantArt, SpeedETab, Rise.ai, and Modalyst.
In a recent Public.com Town Hall, Abrahami shared his tips on how to have a CEO mindset and create a company that puts its customers first.
The below is excerpted from Avishai Abrahami’s Public Town Hall, which can be viewed in full here.
If you want to start a company, you first need to identify a valid problem
Lots of people want to become entrepreneurs. But in order to create a successful company, you need to first identify a problem, Abrahami said.
Come up with a good solution to a personal problem then you have the building blocks for a good company. When Abrahami started Wix, he had no doubt on the direction of the company.
“We identified a valid problem, which is why we were confident in what we started. It didn’t make sense to us that creating an online presence should be so hard,” he said.
You might have to change some things if your company goes public, but keep the culture
When companies go from startups to IPO, some things have to change. There’s more regulation and reporting required and more people to answer to.
But Abrahami said the most important thing is to try and keep the company culture the same despite these changes.
“When Wix went public we needed to change the way we operate in many ways due to the fact we are a public company, but it also allowed us to keep managing the company in the way we want. Most importantly, we have been able to keep the culture the way it always has been.”
The most difficult part of a new business is getting your first 1,000 customers
A retail investor asked what phase of the journey was the most difficult. Abrahami said it was getting the first 1,000 customers.
“If you don’t have those first 1,000, you don’t have a business. If you don’t know that it’s the first 1,000 that is the hardest, then you’re not ready to start a company.”
Understand your users’ needs
A big part of growing a company is understanding your users’ or customers’ needs. For Abrahami, this is his “north star that always keeps [him] focused.”
“As long as I understood the needs of the users, I knew how to make our products better. I always make sure to focus on the value we are bringing. I don’t care if the stock goes up or down, I want to know that we are building the next best thing for users.”
And never forget that your customers are essential to everything you do.
“To me, the three biggest things I tell our employees are focus on what you do, focus on customers, and have fun,” he said.
And finally, if you want to become CEO of your own company, follow these tips
One Public.com user wanted to know Abrahami’s tips for entrepreneurs with a CEO mindset. Abrahami shared: Find something that solves a problem you are facing; talk to your users and customers; learn from others; be open to feedback; and hire people who are smarter than you.