10+ THOUGHTS & THEORIES (Pertaining to Pervasive Problems & Pitfalls)
~99% of Startups Fail… But, WHY?!? [ThoughtsOnStartups.com]
(Pervasive PROBLEMS & Prominent PITFALLS)
1) Lack of Self-Awareness in Founders…
[Preview] Most people have a good level of self-awareness when it comes to their abilities to play the piano or pilot an airplane — or how good they are at golf or ice-skating… But I believe many entrepreneurs have a terrible level of self-awareness — particularly when it comes to evaluating their ideas, vision, strategy… likelihood of product-market-fit and/or overall success potential… [To Be Continued]
2) Mis-Matched Skill-Sets Among Co-Founders…
3) Problems Stemming from WORDS & DEFINITIONS:
What is a Startup?? What makes you an Entrepreneur??
— [Spoiler Alert: There are very few (if any) blogs, podcasts, advice, or “best-practices” that are intended for BOTH “Startup A” (a 30-employee B2B SaaS company with 7-figure annual recurring revenue, raising an 8-figure Series B round, at a 9-figure valuation, with aspirations of being a billion-dollar unicorn) AND “Startup B” (a pair of bootstrapping co-founders, working from coffee shops or co-working space, on their pre-launch MVP). Are they both startups?? Yeah, I guess so — but in the same sense that an ice cube and the Atlantic Ocean are both water? [Full Column Soon]
4) “Success” vs. “Failure” & FUQ! (Frequently UN-asked Questions)
Spoiler Alert: It’s NOT as obvious a distinction as you’d think!
WOULD YOU RATHER:
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!”
5) “There’s no such thing as a bad [xxxx]”
Wait… What?? SERIOUSLY?!? If you wouldn’t say that about a “logo”, a “website”, an “app”, a “sales call”, or an “investor pitch”, then WHY do we say it about “IDEAS”?!? [To Be Continued]
6) Why (the F***) does every Entrepreneurship class or Startup Weekend or Hackathon or “How To Build A Startup” class start with: “STEP 1: Everyone come up with an idea.”
[To Be Continued]
7) Yes, of course it is “Theoretically Possible” for a successful startup to come from anywhere/anyone… but it is much more “Statistically Probable” when you have GREAT people doing the things they are GREAT at… And, just like coding and graphic design are skills (that some people are significantly better at than others), different types of THINKING are also skills (that some are significantly better at than others!) — creative-thinking, strategic-thinking, critical-thinking… and ideation (idea creation & evaluation!)
8) Not all “ideas” are created equal(ly?)… See image below for an intro to the difference between a regular “idea” and what has been dubbed an “IDEA+++” by ViralWhatever.com (creators of 40+ Viral Ventures, each reaching over a million people and collectively engaging ~495 MILLION people)…
9) “What are you GREAT at?!? DO MORE OF THAT!!!”
[Several sports examples/analogies — Coming Soon] TEASERS:
A) Michael Jordan: Basketball career vs. Baseball career…
B) Why it doesn’t matter if Bill Belichick sucks at passing, catching, running, blocking, or tackling… [full column soon]
P.S. In OUR case, the thing we’re GREAT at is “virality” (10+ years, 40+ viral ventures, engaging 495+ million people — www.ViralWhatever.com) so “Viral Thinking” is at the core of most of The Whatever Network’s “Starter Startups”
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 actually (often?)do more harm than good! [full column soon]
11) RISK-TAKING: To Celebrate? Or To Mitigate?
Successful entrepreneurs are often characterized as “Risk-Takers” — But, wait… The 99% of UNsuccessful Entrepreneurs Were Risk-Takers Too, Right?! [Full Column]
12) The problems/pitfalls of using OUTLIERS as benchmarks…
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… (To Be Continued)
13) Funding Frustrations?
Spoiler Alert: MOST investments (in pre-revenue startups) are BAD investments!
14) YOUR Assumptions, Beliefs, Confidence [#ABC?] — about YOUR Startup — can (unfortunately) NOT be taken as OBJECTIVE (because EVERY ENTREPRENEUR feels that strongly about THEIR STARTUP!) so…
15) THE (only?) RELIABLE OBJECTIVE INDICATORS
(That a Startup Has Better-Than-Average Chances of Success…)