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Shan-Lyn Ma: Why Patience Is the Key to Building Your Startup

The CEO and co-founder of a wedding-registry company Zola discuss why you should take your time solidifying the core of your business before expanding it.

After Shan-Lyn Ma and Nobu Nakaguchi launched wedding-registry startup Zola in 2013, engaged couples started asking them for new, additional product offerings. For four years, the co-founders always declined.

“It’s harder than it sounds,” Ma says. “Many companies when they see success in their first product very quickly want to start expanding and doing more and more and that’s a very natural tendency.”

Initially, Ma had to identify the core of what she wanted the company to offer–the minimum viable product–to see if the concept was strong enough to invest more time and resources. She says bringing a desirable product to market without getting distracted by anything else was the company’s biggest challenge during its first years. Looking back, she adds, she’s glad she held off because it gave the business time to get a clear foothold in the market.

More to Read: How to Turn Your Craziest Business Ideas Into Reality

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