Why do startups fail?
90% of startups fail but why do startups fail?
Before starting a startup this is one of the daunting statistics that is triggered in my mind.
After sailing in this boat for close to 6 months, I believe I can share my experience on the same.
1. Focus: Startup founder begins with an idea, but when the idea is tested there are 100 things that come out. What should we do as a startup founder which one to continue, which direction to go now. There comes a time when one idea becomes 100 ideas that is where startup founder loses his focus and gets distracted. It is thus poignant to stay focused, maintain a backlog, and follow prioritization.
2. Not asking Why? : Why am I starting a startup? Why am I solving this problem? these are one of the most fundamental questions which one needs to ask before starting one, if the reason is for money, I guarantee that startup will fail.
3. Execution: Lack of execution is one of the biggest enemies of a startup, an idea can turn to startup only after its founders execute the idea. A good execution of poor idea is 10x better than poor execution of good idea.
4. Falling in love with idea: This is the biggest blunder I have seen my fellow founders make, they fall in love with their idea and forgot why they began in first place.
5. Not investing time in learning: Startups are an exercise in learning, what I could have not learnt in an MBA degree in 2 years, I have learnt in 6 months of startups. Doing startup means learning4life, a startup founder should completely immerse himself in learning. Eric Ries founder of Lean Startup calls in validated learning.
6. Starting Big: This is a mistake which I myself did, I began big, a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step, a startup should focus on start small think big attitude,
7. Talking to customer: We startup founders have to do only 2 things, building product and talking to user, while we are talking to user, we forget that it is actually not talking to customer but listening to customers.
8. Not identifying customer (Who): Customer is god, we forget this and start building a solution for problem no one has, this is common problem I observed while judging hackathon, students were focused on developing solution and not on solving problem for real customer, we should sit and decide who is our perfect customer.
9. Not launching: Product launch or startup launch is considered as a sacred event for founder, Most founders are frieghtened to share there ideas, thinking there ideas would be stolen. As people dont tell about there products to anyone and develop products in silos they don’t get any feedback from customer and thus the whole ideate, iterate and innovate framework goes away.
10. Time = Money : The most important entity in whole startup journey is time, time is money, a startup founder
11. Not measuring progress: What is primary KPI for a startup is it revenue or active user, how much we are growing
12. Not having mentor: It’s sad to see people going to gym and spending on personal trainer but same is not done for mentor. Even Arjuna had Guru Dronacharya and Krishna as mentor. A mentor guides startup founder in right direction.
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