Having been part of a handful of startups and running a few of my own, I can tell you it’s not for everyone. Most startups fail, for many reasons, and when they do succeed it’s mostly determined by one factor: timing.
Tech startups are like the lottery – you see the big winners in the news, but nothing about the millions of the not so lucky. Well, actually you might read about the biggest tech startup failures and this article intends to prevent you from this fate.
In this article, we’re going to highlight some common tech startup mistakes and how to avoid them.
We’ve all, of course, read about the spectacular success of startups. It’s impossible to escape the amazing tales of people starting with an idea in a garage (think Apple) and growing it into a billion-dollar global business. But a startup isn’t as easy as those well-known stories might have you think. There’s a little bit of luck and a whole lot of other influences at play.
Startups boast about their culture, but most of the time they can’t even explain why it’s special. Culture is not about perks, it’s about why and how you do what you do and how that happens in the day to day; culture is about connecting the 3 P’s: purpose, people and processes.
Every organizations lives and dies by its strategy. What makes a good strategy? The best strategies are simple and answer 5 fundamental questions: who, what, where, how and why.
Still, developing a strategy is hard. There’s a tendency to make it a very complex activity, which I believe drives most organizations to fall for many traps; one being the the copy-paste approach.
Startups, by their very nature, do not fall for this trap. But this doesn’t mean their path to victory will be easier; but much more harder.
There are three forces needed for innovation to happen: ability, infrastructure and market. When all three exist you have an industry. Creating a new industry is a long-term challenge, which many people and organizations will not take on. When starting out, every startup is in a race to create find product-market fit. It’s not about being first to market, it’s about getting the business model right.