THOUGHTS & THEORIES (Pertaining to Pervasive Problems & Pitfalls)

~99% of Startups Fail… But, WHY?!? []

NOTE: There are obviously MANY reasons why startups fail. The ~10 below are the ones that we plan to focus on discussing/addressing via our “ReThinking Startups” Improvement Initiatives & “ReThinking Whatever” Programs/Competitions/Experiments
All 100+ columns available by request: (But, admittedly, some are too long or poorly edited, so they really serve better as a list of topics I like to discuss/debate when I’m a guest on podcasts, program panels, and during our various programs/workshops…


Pervasive PROBLEMS & Prominent PITFALLS:

1) Lack of Self-Awareness in Founders…

P.S. Ask me about the experiments I’ve done while speaking at conferences or running workshops. [Quick Summary: I ask rooms full of entrepreneurs to write down how they think they stack up against the others in the room in a variety of categories (from math to graphic design to coding to public speaking to leadership to creativity to hustle to creativity to strategic thinking to overall intelligence).
5 choices for each: ~AVERAGE (40% to 60%). ABOVE Average (60% to 80%). BELOW Average (20% to 40%). GREAT (80% to 100%). BAD or NO Experience (0% to 20%).
The results were EYE-OPENING!

2) Mis-Matched Skill-Sets Among Co-Founders…

3) Problems Stemming from WORDS & DEFINITIONS:


EVERY STARTUP is different, EVERY ENTREPRENEUR is unique, and there is NOTHING (said/written by me — or Tim Ferris or Gary V. or whomever!) that can possibly be applied to EVERYONE in EVERY SITUATION.

4) “Success” vs. “Failure” & FUQ! (Frequently UN-asked Questions)

Spoiler Alert: It’s NOT as obvious a distinction as you’d think!
P.S. Semi-Related Question:
A) aim for ~$25M, but hit $2.5M?
B) aim for $250K, but hit $2.5M?
Spoiler Alert: A = $2.5M and B = $2.5M but A ≠ B
(wait, what?) — [Full Column Soon]

A Plethora of Problems & Pitfalls Pertaining to: “IDEAS!”

* Note: Replace “Viral potential” (above) with “Product-Market-Fit” for when virality is not necessarily a goal.

9) “What are you GREAT at?!? Figure it out and DO MORE of THAT!!!”

[Several sports examples/analogies lessons — Coming Soon] TEASERS:
A) Michael Jordan: Basketball career vs. Baseball career…
B) Why it doesn’t matter if Bill Belichick can’t throw or catch — or that Tom Brady is slow and sucks at blocking and tackling… [full column soon]

10) Optimistic vs. Pessimistic? Positive vs. Negative? [WAIT! What about Realistic?! and Objective?!]

… and why those “Never Give Up!” and “Winners Never Quit!” motivators can potentially do more harm than good! [full column soon]
In Sports, “NEVER Give Up” is often MINUTES… In the real world, “NEVER Give Up” is… F***ing FOREVER!?!

11) RISK-TAKING: To Celebrate? Or To Mitigate?

Successful entrepreneurs are often characterized as “Risk-Takers” — and we all love those success stories of BIG RISK & BIG REWARD! But…
A) is the Success BECAUSE of the Risk?
what about the 99% of UNsuccessful Entrepreneurs? weren’t they Risk-Takers too??
C) but Forbes doesn’t often cover the ~99% where Big Risk is followed by Big Failure… so the natural tendency for Startups/Entrepreneurs to Succeed Publicly / Fail Privately = Causation/Correlation Confusion!!
[Full Column]

I always see photos of sad people sitting in front of brick walls. I can only conclude that brick walls must make people sad. #CorrelationVsCausation

12) The problems/pitfalls of using OUTLIERS as benchmarks…

Try to remember:
For every AWESOME (inspirational!) story of success that you hear, remember there are HUNDREDS (if not thousands?) of AWFUL (depressing!) stories of failure that you’ll never hear…

13) Funding Frustrations?

Spoiler Alert:
MOST investments (in pre-revenue startups) are BAD investments!

P.S. A lot of this makes for good discussion/debate for PODCAST content — But, alas, I will likely never get around to starting my own Podcast… Sooo, if you want to invite me on YOUR Podcast to discuss (or debate!) any of our Thoughts/Theories or Ideas for Improvement, please do!
Yes, of course “Startups Are Hard” — but there are things we can do to dramatically increase the current success/fail rates if we start thinking (and re-thinking?) more strategically and identifying / addressing some common Problems & Pitfalls (and #StatusQuoBias)… Because simply repeating all the same practices and processes of countless failed startups/entrepreneurs before us (and yet somehow hoping for different/better results?) sounds pretty close to Einstein’s(?) definition of INSANITY!
So, what do we recommend instead? Click Here for!


Entrepreneurial Epiphanies & Lessons Learned + Thoughts &…

“ReThinking Startups”

Written by

JOIN US in ReThinking Startups / ReThinking WHATEVER! LAUNCH & LEARN! New Products, Content, Marketing, Side Hustles, STARTER STARTUPS!


Entrepreneurial Epiphanies & Lessons Learned + Thoughts & Theories Pertaining to Problems & Pitfalls = Innovative Improvement Initiatives & NEW “ **S.H.I.T. to Share!” **[Strategies, Hypotheses, Insights, Theories]

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