Best ways to kill your startup

Avoiding these mistakes will make your startup journey much easier.

Bram Krommenhoek
The Startup
Published in
6 min readJan 16, 2018


I’ll be honest: I never thought starting a startup would be so hard.

To give you a bit of context: I tried to start a startup, but failed. Starting a startup means anxiety, fear of failure and a roller coaster with many NOs and some YESses. I can tell you: it’s not pretty.

To prepare for success, I read a lot about what you should do to build the next great thing. Then I blindly chased success.

The result?

  • I cut out most activities that didn’t relate to my startup.
  • I chased projects that didn’t lead to progress.

Even worse:

  • I could have spent this time with my girlfriend, with family and friends, or doing more of what I love.

When I wrote my previous blog, I realised something compelling:

The tips and tricks from others weren’t relevant for the game I was playing.

Huh? What game?

Let me explain

According to a famous study by Dr. Simon Ramo, tennis basically has two games. First, you have a game played by the pros. Second, you have the game played by people like me — the other 99% of us — the amateurs.

In the first game, 80% of the points are “won” by hitting the ball so that the other player can’t return it. This is the “winner’s game.”

In the second game, 80% of points are “lost” by double faults, hitting the ball into the net, or another mistake. This is the “loser’s game.” The one who wins, tries to be consistently not stupid.

When starting out, you aren’t playing the winner’s game. You’re playing the loser’s game.

I was basically like the little girl below. Would you tell her to hit aces, or to try to keep the ball from hitting the net?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The success of your startup depends on its survival of the early stages. The survival of your early stages…



Bram Krommenhoek
The Startup

Failed founder. I share my "Aha"s and "Oh shit"s. As seen in The Mission, The Startup,