Having a degree in Software Engineering has made me well aware of how to proceed in a planned, measurable and possibly successful manner towards a goal which makes this post both relevant to why startups fail and exactly where does the breach in an otherwise beautiful strategy occur.
The three major functional requirements for any model of business are: support, manpower and vision. The most important requirement of a startup is having a unified, clear-cut and mutually agreed upon vision that propels the entire team forward. The other need is having enough technical and monetary support to get started. Last but not the least, no startup can thrive without an adequate manpower that takes responsibilities of its various functions.
This leads us to the five major pitfalls that startups typically fall into.
- It’s an exclusive all friends group- Yes, startups do tend to emerge from garages and university labs where everybody intimately knows each other and a potentially marketable idea boils up. But that should not be the fate of your startup in the long run. You need to bring in more people that you may or may not know but whose expertise you require. This. Includes people from the marketing, management, financial, technical and all sorts of professional capacities.
- The deadlines are too open-ended- Planning is the key to all good decisions and to make sure you follow through with a plan. Most startups do not set deadlines, or at least not realistic ones. They are either too open-ended or too strict and eventually the freedom changes into unproductive wastage of time.
- Innovation Regulation – Designing new ideas is great, coming up with novel technologies and looking for breakthroughs sounds great. But even this creative streak needs to be regulated, timelines must be drafted and a traditional route of analysis, designing, implementation and eventually testing must be followed which is what most startups that fail do not follow.
- Having a Revenue Stream- Success is rarely as easily measured in any other quantity as money. Many startups begin with the idea of making a difference, having something new to offer the world and be compensated for that. But at times the hiring of different people, capitalizing on deals and paying up becomes sidelined and people eventually lose trust in the cause.
- Analyze Your Progress- It goes without saying that most startups that fail, do not have a proper check and balance system. It is important to check each step you are taking for its flaws and benefits, to analyze your progress and continuously assess whether you have made progress or not.
Startups fail but that is just the tip of the iceberg, it is only after failing and learning from mistakes can startups rise to the occasion and reinvent their processes.