Do we know the truth: Over 90 per cent of the startups fail, because building a startup is freaking hard, and having an idea alone just isn’t enough for success
There’s this myth that I have a crazy idea, world’s first ABC, Uber of X, or Tinder of Y. (Well, I myself am living with this myth, my idea is crazy enough…).
What happens after, you have an idea, and build an MVP, you launch… Media falls in love with you… And pretty soon Google or Facebook comes knocking. After that, it’s Mai Tais on the beach for the rest of your life. Pretty funny, right?
Do we know the truth: Over 90 per cent of the startups fail. Because building a startup is freaking hard. Having an idea alone isn’t enough for success. It takes the right team, right decisions, and right investors who not just pump in money to grow their returns, but become a strong mentor to tighten loose ends.
What defines a successful idea then?
I have questioned myself many times “what defines a successful idea then?” “If it’s hard does it mean: don’t take the first step to try?” Nothing comes easy in life.
In my view everyone has his/her own definition of just what a great tech startup is, “Disruptive, solving a consumer pain point, having a million customers”. All those cliche’ words i.e. validation, traction, market fit, valuation et al fitted into different mission statements. But in reality, growing a successful startup and an audience of happy, empowered customers depends on who you are transforming your customers to be.
Disruption is not about tech, it’s all about creating a better experience, adding more ease to their lives which gives them comfort and satisfaction beyond buying it on discounts.
Let’s look at a use case. Is the travel blog that your travel-freak friend just started to help people find new destinations going to succeed? The new Android app to help doctors tell patients that they are busy: is that cool enough? The new online shop to sell handcrafted giveaways sourced from a town nobody cares about: how awesome is that? On the face of it, these are failures waiting to happen, because you build it and think customers will come.
It isn’t easy! A certain degree of innovation is required to be able to do things differently, build a culture, build generosity first and not something to acquire customers via Facebook ads, growth hacks, whatsoever.
For any startup, this is a crucial lesson. You have to look at the technology you develop in the right way. It’s not about how big a tech solution you’re building, it’s about how you disrupt the consumer experience and how you a build a relationship with them to keep the business scaling up on word of mouth.
Going back to the same use case, if that travel blog empowers people living in those hidden locations to connect with the larger world, the blog isn’t about the page views and the traffic; instead it’s about — does it make a difference in impact to even the five people who read it and are you able to quantify that impact fast enough? If it did, it’s successful. So, holistic thinking of interconnectedness is important.
Any business with customers is in the people business.
Freshdesk is freaking successful not because they have a free sprout plan but because they are addressing the “people relationships” problem for their customers.
All things apart, fact is no matter how hard it is, being an entrepreneur is every effort, every pain, every penny worth it. Founding your own business is worth it. Growing a startup is worth it. Do it, and do it worthy enough.
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