background preloader

The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups

The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups
October 2006 In the Q & A period after a recent talk, someone asked what made startups fail. After standing there gaping for a few seconds I realized this was kind of a trick question. It's equivalent to asking how to make a startup succeed—if you avoid every cause of failure, you succeed—and that's too big a question to answer on the fly. Afterwards I realized it could be helpful to look at the problem from this direction. If you have a list of all the things you shouldn't do, you can turn that into a recipe for succeeding just by negating. In a sense there's just one mistake that kills startups: not making something users want. 1. Have you ever noticed how few successful startups were founded by just one person? What's wrong with having one founder? But even if the founder's friends were all wrong and the company is a good bet, he's still at a disadvantage. The last one might be the most important. 2. Startups prosper in some places and not others. Why is the falloff so sharp? 3. 4.

http://www.paulgraham.com/startupmistakes.html

Related:  5.2.2. Failures & lessons learned

How to Make Wealth May 2004 (This essay was originally published in Hackers & Painters.) If you wanted to get rich, how would you do it? I think your best bet would be to start or join a startup. That's been a reliable way to get rich for hundreds of years. The word "startup" dates from the 1960s, but what happens in one is very similar to the venture-backed trading voyages of the Middle Ages.

Business 2.0: What a VC wants to see in you - Jun. 5, 2006 Here is how you too can woo even the fussiest venture capitalists. SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0 Magazine) - Most venture capitalists will tell you that they invest in people, not business plans. They like experienced entrepreneurs they've worked with before. With luck, you've got one of those people on your team, preferably as CEO. But if you're not a veteran and can't find one, don't fret. 17 Mistakes Start-Ups Make 17 Mistakes Start-ups Make John Osher has developed hundreds of consumer products, including an electric toothbrush that became America's best-selling toothbrush in just 15 months. He also started several successful companies, including Cap Toys. He built sales to $125 million per year and then sold the company to Hasbro Inc. in 1997.

BOOM Goes The Dynamite! 500 Startups Explodes With 2 New Periodic Elements, 12 Sensational Startups, and 1 Awesome Accelerator Program 500 Startups announces today they have discovered the newest periodic elements – Upandtotherightium (Ur) and Viralium (Vi). In addition to this amazing new discovery which is awaiting official recognition by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, they are also proud to announce they are in the early stages of developing 12 remarkable new startups in their just-launched 500 Startups Accelerator program at their headquarters in Mountain View. The buzz among the science community is the 500 Startups Accelerator will soon eclipse the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, which has long held the title of the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.

How to Change the World Amazon start selling the paperback edition of my latest book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. APE explains how to publish a book by breaking the process down into three stages: Author explains how to write a book. Startups in 13 Sentences February 2009 One of the things I always tell startups is a principle I learned from Paul Buchheit: it's better to make a few people really happy than to make a lot of people semi-happy. I was saying recently to a reporter that if I could only tell startups 10 things, this would be one of them.

What If Your Smartphone Could Read Your Mind? Kimera Is Working On It Today's smartphones are pretty darned smart. Yet we are only scratching the surface of what these devices might do. What if our smartphones were actually intelligent? Able to perceive our actions and intentions and act upon them on our behalf? That's the goal of a startup called Kimera. What Startups Are Really Like October 2009 (This essay is derived from a talk at the 2009 Startup School.) I wasn't sure what to talk about at Startup School, so I decided to ask the founders of the startups we'd funded. What hadn't I written about yet? I'm in the unusual position of being able to test the essays I write about startups. Writing a business plan - How to write a business plan - Submit a business plan - Sequoia Capital Writing a Business Plan At Sequoia we like business plans that present a lot of information in as few words as possible. The following business plan format, within 15–20 slides, is all that’s needed... read

4 Key Insights from Analyzing 5,000+ Cap Tables - Capshare Blog Capshare recently published the 2016 Private Company Equity Statistics Report. In it, we analyzed a significant subset of the 5,000+ cap tables on our system. We identified 4 big insights in our research: Average dilution by stage is highly predictableFounders often own far less at exit than they might thinkStar performers and average performers have wildly different experiencesLater rounds don’t always translate to increased returns for founders

Related:  ULTRSOUND: Startups Incubators AccelaratorsPrinciplesDon't do that, that would kill your startup