Learn lessons on failed products and startups

Tomer Dicturel
Jan 9 · Unlisted

So i drafted this blog last week after the great feedback from my last blog (The Most Important Points Nobody Told You Before You Started Building That App) and waiting for the right moment of inspiration to finish it and it happened this morning as i am doing my morning routine and checking product hunt i was surprised to see as site talking just about it many of this point and its community based so perfect timing how not to launch.

Is there a right way or wrong way to launch a business, product, or service? Some will say yes, others will say no.

You can follow a bunch of guidelines and business how-to books, you can follow tips given by business coaches, you can do what’s been tried and proven by someone else, or you can take a risk and use the same creativity that got you where you are today to launch in your own way.

If you’re like many trying to launch a business, product or service, you’ve likely heard a lot already. You’ve probably learned of the importance of having a business plan, narrowing a niche, creating a brand and sales funnel, the importance of collecting emails for marketing, and on and on.

All these can be troublesome to the business that just wants to get the thing launched and make a success. But having great expertise, an outstanding product, or creativity alone is seldom enough.

Below are five basic things that you should NOT do when launching a start-up:

1. Ignoring the Power of Teamwork:

If you want to launch a product in the right way, DO NOT underestimate the power of teamwork. Launching a start-up is going to require a team that is made up of representatives from each of the company’s relevant areas. The team will work together and create a launch plan, pen out the details concerning everything that has to be done and then act out as needed.

You must take the responsibility to hand pick and gather your launch team together when planning a start-up launch and you will find out that the time, energy, and effort put in is worth it!

2. Don’t ignore your customers

Are you guilty of neglecting your customers? Time and time again, companies of all sizes ignore their customers and prospects by making huge mistakes such as failing to send out newsletter cos it took much time and effort, failing to respond to emails and so on. In fact, a lot of professionals do the exact same thing.

But imagine this, clients are looking at your site for information, researching what you do, and maybe even calling or emailing to ask a simple question. And what they get is, well, nothing.

On the periphery, these things may seem small or trivial. But it’s often the little things that make the most significant difference. And not following through on time makes customers see you as inconsistent, unfocused, uncommitted and unprofessional.

Creating consistent messages and communications show you’re a reliable company that others can TRUST. So even if you think no one is reading your words or you’re just too busy to be timely, you need to stick to it. Because you never know when a bride is watching. And trust me, they are.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. If time management is an issue, don’t bite off more than you can chew. You’re only one person after all. You must not be on every social media channel out there. Pick one or two and then do it on a regular basis. Once you master them, consider adding another. Of course, you can always hire someone, and that’s where teamwork comes to play again.

Use online tools that allow you to showcase your work. Remember, marketing is all about consistency. Do it on a regular basis, showcase your work and you’ll be on your way marketing more effectively and growing your start-up business. Not to mention setting yourself apart from a lot of other companies!

3. Market size; make sure you can actually make Returns

Not all markets are created equal. Some tend to be bigger, better and more profit yielding than other businesses. Your ability to correctly evaluate a market is like knowing where to throw your fishing net to make a great catch.

Here are a few essential characteristics of a good market:

✓ Size:

The bigger the market size, the better your chances of succeeding.

✓ Urgency:

The more urgently people need your products or service in your target market, the better.

✓ Speed to market:

The faster you can go from getting your initial idea to beginning to make sales, the better your success.

✓ High pricing potential:

The higher you are able to charge per product, the better your market.

✓ Low cost of acquiring new customers:

The less money you spend on getting new customers, the better.

✓ Low cost and ease of delivering:

The less money you invest in delivering your product or service, the better your success.

✓ Uniqueness:

The more unique your product tends to be, the better your chances of scaling through.

✓ Low upfront investment:

The fewer resources you require to test the market, build business and start-up, the better.

Check through these and evaluate how well your market score on each of these points.

4. If you compete against giant make sure you are different or you have no chance.( see MeVee case study)

The business world is tough, especially if you are new to the scene. Like in any business, if you want to survive, you have to sell, and we all know how difficult this can be. Competing with well-established companies is difficult, and big companies are sometimes your last concern. High taxes, unfaithful clients and lousy business decision are your real enemies! So, how do you do it? How do you compete favorably with the bigger giants?

✓ Modernize:

Everyone feels the impact of technology on our lives. As human beings, we adapt to the changes, especially if those changes work in our advantage. The Internet’s growing popularity provides new business opportunities: take advantage of them! By taking your business online, you will make it easier for your potential customers to get in touch with your product or service. Since it is a busy world, people need fast services, so make sure you can offer this by having an updated and easy-to-use website!

SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization can help you promote your business via the Internet. Many companies specialize in Search Engine Optimization. Hiring one can bring your website and your agency in top ranking search results.

✓ Use your mobility:

You run a small business, which gives you a significant advantage: you can change. A bigger company will suffer significantly from a radical turnover. However, your business can respond a lot quicker to the market’s demands. If you find an open niche, do not be afraid to jump in and take it, or else someone else may get to it first. You must be fully aware of what the people need when it comes to your line of business. And although lower prices may seem like an obvious answer, what most customers want is a product they can buy, a product designed for their needs.

✓ Be productive:

If you want to get ahead, work harder. If you are already working hard, work even harder than that. Micromanaging your employees and business plan is almost necessary if you want to stay ahead of the competition. You will have to put aside some nights, and you will have to deal with a lot of stress, but in the end, that is how you get on top!

Remember that there isn’t a recipe for success when it comes to selling insurance. If you are small, you can grow by using the advantages technology brings and by working harder than anyone else!

5. Not about the code — it’s about the market fit:

Market fit! You may have heard of it but wondered what it’s all about. Marc Andeerssen in 2007 coined the term Market fix, defining it as being in a viable market and being able to satisfy that given market.

Achieving market fit is one vital goal an early-stage start-up needs to put into consideration. Your company survival solely depends on this to survive. There’s every need to prove that your company product or service will appeal to enough people enough to bring in money.

A market fix can be ascertained through the following tests:

✓ Survey customers

Word of mouth can impact profoundly on the success or failure of a new business. What customers or product users say about your product is of great importance. That’s where the survey comes in, to track and find out how the public feels about the proposed business.

Ask your target audience to fill out a survey that will give you insight into their thoughts on your business. Their feedback will show you the possibility of your business striving or failing.

✓ Track customer behavior

Put logistics on the ground to find out how your target audience feel your product or service.

✓ Consider what it costs to acquire a customer

The less money you need to invest in convincing individuals to become customers, the better your product-market fit proves. However, if the cost of customer acquisition is incredibly high, it’s not quite as obvious why your product should matter to people.

CONCLUSION

In 2018, over 554,000 companies were created in the US, 6% more than in 2017.

In 5 years, half of these companies will have ceased their activity. Many of these untimely deaths are failures that could have been avoided if the owners had a little more about how best to prevent failure during startup.

This article “How not to launch a start-up company” has been created to give you all the essential information you need to move forward in the early stages of your business start-up. Strict adherence to the above will not only guarantee an excellent business take-off but ensure the longevity of your company while making it a formidable force to reckon with in the business world.

Hey! I’m Tomer, an entrepreneur and maker. You might know me from Mevee, Crane, and Shots, among other products I’ve launched! This article is a part in a larger series I’m writing mostly based on my experiences, and is largely made of my and my team’s opinions.

I hope this helps you to avoid making the same mistakes I did, and remember to keep shipping!

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Everything Startup

Unlisted

Tomer Dicturel

Written by

Co-founder of Epic.AI a company that focuses on building Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technologies such as Crane.ai, Slides.ai,investorintelligence.io

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Everything Startup

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