18 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Startup

Jamie Fleetwood Uncategorized Leave a Comment


1.)  Single Founder – As a single founder you have almost zero chance of getting funding from Paul Graham. Why? It’s not a coincidence, he says, that founders who succeeded did so as a team of at least two. (Hint: Why I’m ALWAYS putting emphasis on the importance of having a spectacular team!)

2.)  Bad Location – You can change everything about a house, but its location. Likewise, if your startup is in a subpar location, you can’t change the nature or surroundings of that location. It’s easier to move the startup. Where to you ask? Silicon Valley.

3.)  Marginal Niche – By choosing an obscure niche a startup may paint themselves in a corner. If you are afraid of competition, this is definitely not the way to avoid it.

4.)  Derivative Idea – There are only so many Twitters for pet owners one can come up with. The bottom line is that the Google of tomorrow will not be like Google. Fact.

5.)  Obstinacy – or shall we say inability to adapt, kills startups who would have otherwise survived had they not been too stubborn to see what their users were telling them.

6.)  Hiring Bad Programmers – Knowing a superduper programmer from a bad one often takes being a good one yourself, or having a trusted programmer on your team. Exceptional programmers are always in short supply. So the odds are stacked up against hiring good ones – be aware, be thorough, and choose wisely.

7.)  Choosing the Wrong Platform – How fast you can scale will determine whether your startup lives or dies once you get traction. On the wrong platform scalability will be the bottleneck. And users don’t usually grant you the favor of waiting around for you to figure it out.

8.)  Slowness in Launching – Before you actually launch your startup you are in the dark about whether your startup should even exist. The longer you delay the launch the more you delay getting the answer. If you are afraid to know what the answer is, you might want to ask yourself why you have that fear, and then act accordingly.

9.)  Launching Too Early – However, if you launch too early, you might find that you are completely unprepared to handle your growth, or worse yet, unprepared to present a useable product.

10.)  Having No Specific User in Mind – Somewhere someone will for sure be interested in your product, you just don’t know who yet? Sounds like those people may not exist. Be sure to find out.

11.)  Raising Too Little Money – You get what you spend on, remember that. With too little money you may not be able to flesh out your product in to its full potential.

12.)  Spending Too Much Money – Spending too much before you grew enough to have the numbers to raise the next round, and you are out of cash, which often spells the end.

13.)  Raising Too Much Money – Raising too much money will most likely make you fell like a huge success even before you made anything useful. At the end of the day, it’s renters, not investors, you want to impress the most.

14.)  Poor Investor Management – If you’re left with the choice between making investors happy or making your renters happy, always choose the renters. Of course it’s important for your investors to be happy, but hat will make them happy? Money. If the renter is happy, your investors will make money eventually.

15.)  Sacrificing Users to (Supposed) Profit – You can always make money later. This however, cannot be said about making users happy. You need to make something they want now.

16.)  Not Wanting to Get Your Hands Dirty – You can’t solve all your problems with coding. Businesses are built on relationships, I repeat, business are built on relationships. Go out and meet those people, right now!

17.)  Fights Between Founders – Founder conflict is all too common. Founders being the ambitious people they naturally are, are almost always bound to disagree at some point. A little understanding and good, quality communication works wonders and goes a long way.

18.)  A Half-Hearted Effort – A lack of determination to see a startup through to the end is not a rarity. If you feel like you have other options in life other than building your startup, you will probably mentally cling on to them and fail to put your whole heart into seeing your startup through to being a successful, thriving business.

This article originally appeared on Funders And Founders. Copyright 2015. Follow Funders And Founders on Twitter. Read more here: http://fundersandfounders.com/startup-mistakes/#ixzz3Vcf6GNgP

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