The ugly truth in the startup ecosystem – most of the startups are unable to become a profitable and sustainable business. It needs colossal amount of efforts to build a startup that mints money, gains media coverage, has thousands of users or clients and millions of dollars invested.
However there are 4 types of startups that will always fail. Look at these points and see if you are not building one of these.
#1. Startups that don’t solve a problem – The most successful companies were started because the founders faced a certain problem which they first solved and then made it a profit fit. These companies solve a problem that the users are willing to shell their dollars for.
WhatsApp solved the problem of mobile users, the users could message their network without having to pay the messaging charges. The users could message their friends on other phone platforms (Android and iOS), a game changer in the messaging ecosystem.
It is vital to build a product or solution that the users will pay for and shift from their current providers to your solution because it solves a problem that no one else could.
Startups that don’t solve any specific problem will never be able to gain visibility and success nor survive.
#2. Having a single founder – How rarely do you come across startups with a single founder? Only a few single founder startups such as Larry Ellison’s Oracle could make it to the top.
The ideal number of co-founders is 2-4. You need partners who’d whack their brains for new ideas, with whom you could discus every aspect of the product and to cheer you up in the low times.
There is another human sentiment attached to this, each co-founder would give in his best, with the sentiment that he can’t let the others down and pushes them to do better, this binds them and is absent with a single founder.
#3. Startups with a product only incrementally better from the existing ones – Why would someone use your product just because it is incrementally better from the competitors?
Rather than starting a replica company and solving the problems they solve, look around for problems that you or your family and network faces and think of building a company or product that solves it. What is it that people are complaining about? And how can you solve those pain points?
There were 13 search engines when Google was launched, what made it the God of Search? It entirely transformed the way search was done.
#4. Stubbornness to stick to the original plan – In a startup things do not always go as per the plan, after launching the product you have to constantly iterate and sometimes the final product is very different from what you started.
Yesterday’s Burbn is today’s Instagram. Instagram’s founders initially built a location check-in app Burbn similar to Foursquare, even sent out the prototype and then realized that it was cluttered with features. They then decided to scrap the entire project and built another photo sharing app Instagram with just the like, comment and photo characteristics of Burbn.
The toughest task is to leave the old idea and starting to work on a totally new concept. Yet it is needed and failing to do so will never take your startup to where you want it to be.
Ensure that your startup doesn’t fall in any of these categories. Focus on building an effective and sustainable business, everything else will fall in place by itself.