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At what point should I give up on my startup and admit failure?

We have been testing many things to get to product market fit. My cofounders and I have ton of energy to continue moving things forward. However, I can not deny myself that I have asked myself the question around the idea of at what point I need to consider giving up given the cost vs. opportunity. Thanks for the advise.

10 Replies

John Bentley, II
2
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John Bentley, II Entrepreneur • Advisor
Entrepreneur - Technologist - Software Architect. The Code Wookie is focused on helping people get the most out of tech.
The question I would ask is - what are customers telling you? Is there no need for the product or is there a different value proposition customers see based on your current product? If customers see no value and provide no insight in how to pivot to a marketable product, it is time to consider shutting down. If you can't answer this questions based on data from customer interactions, make gathering that data your top priority and it will provide you the answers you need.
Sidney Sclar
0
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Sidney Sclar Entrepreneur
SID the SECURITY PRO at sidthesecuritypro.com
Now may the time to move to a different passion.
Joe Albano, PhD
1
0
Joe Albano, PhD Advisor
Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.
Do you have a systematicway to document, test, validate, and adjust the assumptions you have made about your business model?

If you do, you have a way to identify what's going wrong and you can make an informed decision about whether to pivot or move on and build a new model.
Kelly Kuhn-Wallace
0
0
Kelly Kuhn-Wallace Entrepreneur • Advisor
Marketing and Strategy Consultant
If you and your cofounders have a lot of energy and some shared knowledge or expertise that you have based _this_ startup on, consider a pivot. Giving up completely seems drastic.

Review your custdev documentation. When you're focused on "making the product fit," you might miss other opportunities that have legs.


David Pariseau
0
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David Pariseau Entrepreneur
CTO and CoFounder at Particles Plus
Perhaps you can share what you feel your challenges are. With more information I think you'd have a better chance of getting better advice.
Rachel Kaberon
0
0
Rachel Kaberon Entrepreneur • Advisor
Market Insights and Business Transformation Strategist: FinTech, Collaboration, Process Automation
All good advice, but the question is do you have paying customers? And do you know the path and timetable with confidence to get them?
I've worked on several bootstrapped projects and in the end we had a client but no paying customer insight. Ultimately that was how we made the decision it was time to stop, and pivot.

David Trallero
1
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David Trallero Entrepreneur
Programmer
Making an startup is a question of investing time and money. So the first thing you have to keep in mind is how much money you would like to make at least from that startup. That is the exit goal. Lets say you want to make 1 million in 2 years (note: 1 million in 2 years is a key progress indicator - KPI). In order to reach that goal you need to plan how much you should be earning or how many paying customer you need to have every certain time. Those are your milestones. Lets say for instance that in order to get your expected goal, you need 100.000 paying customers in 6 months. 6 months has past. How many customers did you get? If you got 80.000 (that is 20% less), you need to readjust your goals or become more aggressive. But if you got 10.000, then you should leave the startup because you will not reach your goal and that means you are wasting your time.

In order to put the exit goal and the milestones, just follow the "book" instructions and plan well.

Taking this decision by guts or intuition is something very wrong, because in an startup there will be always up and down moments. Follow the plan, measure, and take decisions based on your milestones and KPIs.
Jaykishan Prithiani
0
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Jaykishan Prithiani Entrepreneur
AVP Business Consulting at Veloz TechForm
There are no fix rules to say I quit, if you do not see traction try to pivot your startup and start looking from other side of coin. You can ready my article on pivoting your business http://veloztechform.com/blog/when-to-pivot-your-startup/
Rod Abbamonte
0
0
Rod Abbamonte Advisor
Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute
When you lose your hope and when your hope do not becamestubbornness.
Martin Omansky
0
0
Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
Pull the plug before you are forced by others to do so. It will be cheaper and less traumatic. Bankruptcy judges are not, generally speaking, sympathetic figures. Sent from my iPhone
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