3 mistakes of entrepreneurs that are less talked about
Startups. Chaos. Multiple variables. Lot of gaps. Too many holes to plugin!
There is a lot talked about entrepreneurship — more on successes, more on flashy stuff, even quite a few on failures.
Why do we still continue to fail? Why the failure rates for startups does not improve over years? These are some less talked about mistakes that I see being made every day, mistakes that are costing us heavy!
Trying to build an audience after building the product
This is still something I see around in a lot of startups. Recently, even product hunt founder talked about this. Having an audience who are interested in what you have to offer — before you launch your product can change the game for your startup. Even though few high growth startups have done this before, many first time entrepreneurs still fall under the trap that “I have to have my product ready to engage with my audience”.
Obsessed with big “obvious” problems and ignoring “less obvious” ones
In my first startup, I used to worry about competition. And about what to do when 3X more customers come in — how will the architecture hold in that case. Or about how to build a scalable model for our sales force. Yes, these are all problems, but not at a startup scale, especially not for “early stage” startups. As an entrepreneur, you have only so much energy but a lot of things to do. By focusing on the wrong things you could end up exhausted, and not moving forward at the same time. Focus more on relationships with other co-founders if you have not worked for long before. Focus more on kind of people you hire, what is their ethos. Connect with entrepreneurs who have done similar to what you are trying and learn from their mistakes. Deciding on “what to focus” — one big differentiators between startups that move forward and those that don’t.
Obsessed with symptoms and forgetting root causes
When users coming and leaving your product in a hurry — is it an user retention problem or “wrong” user marketing problem? Are your employees leaving because they got better offer or they stopped believing in the product? Do you find your team reducing their communication with you because they are more clear now or because they want to avoid conflict? One thing is for sure in a startup — there will be a lot of “fires” to control. By having a strong focus to get to the root cause of problems, you can ensure some of these “fires” don’t keep spreading.
A genuine and open conversation on why we fail, where we fail, can help us build more useful stuff for the world to consume.
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