Why We See Startups in the Digital Domain Fail So Quickly?

People don’t take advice:

I have come across mostly people who are like “I know it all” attitude. They feel if you use the startup tag on your chest, you get attention. Attention from government, your peers and obviously from investors. Cheap thrills. I come across people who can’t even think or come up with an original idea, they call it inspiration but actually they bluntly copy from others. They just want success come what may. Money is the goal, not value. If you advise them to test their idea before starting a swanky office, they hate you. Result, I see 30 % of the startups can’t pay salaries or even rents and they perish within 6- 10 months. They burn fast. They will never spend their time and energy testing an idea before believing it. Romancing their own idea makes them fail fast. Gut feeling is what they mainly rely on.

I don’t know what I don’t know syndrome is what they suffer from.

Digital is cheap, so I love it.

When they burn all their money on untested ideas, technology, apps, product building, office space, rent, etc. for 10 months, they are left with no money to market. ATL gulps down enormous money to launch so they are left with digital. I come across so many of such people who think and believe digital is cheap and easy. This is the last nail in their coffin. They try their luck on learning digital online, again to save cost.

Online university kills you.

Imagine you are learning swimming online.

Step by step in 4 weeks, actually you are swimming either on the floor or on your bed!

Imagine what happens when you actually get hit by waves or the feeling of swimming underwater when you can’t see much, the fear the excitement!

Watching a heart operation 1 lakh times won’t make you a heart surgeon. You will kill the patient as you are not aware of the entire anatomy.

Most startups first try this and avoid hiring skilled people. They die again or become bankrupt.

Digital can give me a baby in 9 weeks

I see most startups are so impatient, they patiently boast when it comes to waiting period of their sedan or their iPhone X, but they won’t give time to a designer to make a logo. They think it’s a no-brainer. No thought process goes here. As they feel copying from 20 other Google images makes a logo. So why it takes so much time? Sad.

They don’t respect creative and quality output; they want a healthy baby in 1 week!

God damn! It takes 9 months and 10 days for Gods to make a baby!

Such idiots exist in large groups; I see them every day. I used to hate them, now I pity them. They die before they start.

Incompetent people: Blind lead a Blind syndrome

An MBA and an engineering degree will not make your startup road easy. By the time you are out of college you have forgotten half of it. I see people approach their way of working with half-baked knowledge. Half knowledge is extremely dangerous.

Most of the time they have Ego and trust issue which stops them from accepting the fact that there are more intelligent people who can do digital in a better way. Those skilled people have not learnt digital online, they have learnt it swimming on the floor. This is the bloody truth!

They hire incompetent people as the truth remains that they themselves are not competent enough to even hire or select a competent digital marketing partner.

90% of them use a traditional lens to hire, drive, build and market digital.

They don’t understand the difference between these:

  1. Copywriter and a content writer
  2. Graphic artist and a UX designer
  3. Persona building and TG
  4. A/ B testing and Gut feeling
  5. New age Blog Writer Vs Old school blog writers
  6. Minimalistic design Vs Force fed design
  7. Content format varies in all platforms as one size don’t fit all.

Moral of the story: When you hire a nurse to do a surgery, even 30 yrs. Experience inside an operation theater won’t make him/her a doctor. That’s the truth, the faster you understand it, the better.

Remember Outdated knowledge can’t teach you controlling Millennials! Most people I see upgrades their phone, car and gadgets, but still hold back when upgrading their knowledge. 90% of them are still proud of their 20ysr old MBA / engineering degrees.

Think, even Philip Kotler had to rewrite his book (Marketing 3.0) to make it relent and contextual as per today.

Contextual content:

Most of them don’t understand this at all. They end up selling the same content on every digital platform. Without understanding the user “Persona” it quite naturally you will end up making these mistakes. Content is simple yet complex, actually its more of common sense from the user perspective. What to say, common sense is so rare nowadays!

Content is generally used in a “spray & pray” format.

You are actually behaving like a trigger happy person spraying your unplanned content all over expecting someone will pick up and call you for business.

I see nobody even understands content architecture (AI) while making their website.

The website content is always inspired by another competitor’s website content; they never do it from the user perspective.

Hiring a skilled content team or a person who understands content journey based on the customers buying journey makes your business grow. The more contextual the content, better the law of attraction works.

Result: Read my next blog on this, “How content made me a Millionaire”

Copy cats die fast. Even if they exist, they are forced to charge less. Nobody pays for China make look alike, as you can’t demand price since “cheap perception of the brand” pushes the price lower evidently. You burn your success.

Don’t sell, educate

Nobody is interested in your product; they just don’t care.

They are only interested in their concerns.

If you talk, educate and help them to solve their concerns they will look at you.

You can only get attention by this process. Or else your business gets shot down by their neglecting attitude.

How to win: Try this process

Be found
  1. Do create more relevant content base on buyer’s journey
  2. Be original, always.
  3. Do make videos. Lots of them. People now see more read less.
  4. Do understand inbound marketing. You will get attention.
  5. Do understand buyer journey. You will get their money.
  6. Don’t look at the user’s pocket. They will hate you.
  7. Do understand TG / 4P’s don’t work in digital. At all.
  8. Do learn buyer persona
  9. Do hire competent people
  10. Don’t cut, copy & paste from others.
  11. Do UX/ UI. It’s more about science and less about design. Rationale always works in digital.
  12. Do invest in your website (Make it your salesman to fetch your business)