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Why do startups fail?

As I am looking at starting my own business I keep hearing that only 1 out of 10 survives. What are the most usual ingredients behind making the 9 out of 10 fail?

10 Replies

Joe Albano, PhD
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Joe Albano, PhD Advisor
Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.
Most common reason: building a product that no one wants
Perry DiClemente
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Perry DiClemente Entrepreneur • Advisor
Aviation Advisor at Spike Aerospace, Inc.
I have been on many new startups. I have noticed several of the companies, the visionary CEOs initially hires the best talent but then fails to listen to them.
Raja Nagendra Kumar
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Raja Nagendra Kumar Entrepreneur
Code Surgeries | Micro Fixed Bids | Scala | Go | Kotlin | ReactJS | Android | Java | NFR Doctor
Products needs to evolve to a solution, which can be mass scale adoptable. This way keep startup flexible enough to transform each week both on implementation side and acquiring customers. Don't try to behave like enterprises with all the static mindset and static products.
Theresa Marcroft
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Theresa Marcroft Entrepreneur
Marketing Strategist / CMO / Interim VP Marketing
I just published a blog article on this very topic. It has to do with the fact that most new start ups don't listen to their customers as they should. You need to get very close to the customer and truly understand what keeps him/her up at night. More here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/competitive-positioning-part-two-4-part-ceo-series-theresa-marcroft?trk=prof-post

Feel free to call me if you want to talk.

Theresa Marcroft
Interim CMO
MarketSavvy Inc.
Tele: (408) 656.1876
Web: www.Market-Savvy.com
Email: [removed to protect privacy]


John Patzakis
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John Patzakis Entrepreneur
Founder and Executive Chairman, X1 Discovery, Inc.
Sometimes, start ups fail because a smart but stubborn Greek is the founder and CEO. Especially ones named Yanni. Good luck and Kalo taksidi. John Patzakis Sent from my iPhone
Sebastien Mirolo
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Sebastien Mirolo Entrepreneur
Subscription Product Engineering
Not enough revenue, not fast enough. There is a minimum amount you need to spend just to deliver one product to one customer. That minimum cost is owed every month, whether you have one customer or none (rent, taxes, etc.).

Some businesses operate well with 3 people. Some businesses require a minimum of 15 people to be profitable. Some businesses have good unit economics at 100 employees. If you are stuck in the middle, you might get all the costs and none of the benefits. Invariably the business will go under.
Ansar Hafil
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Ansar Hafil Entrepreneur
Business Consultant at Winning In Business
There are many reasons, but for me there are two main reasons. 1. The people 2.There is no marketfor the product or service.
Rod Abbamonte
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Rod Abbamonte Advisor
Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute
Bad team
Martin Omansky
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Martin Omansky Entrepreneur
Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional
It's of specific reasons. Generally, however, an enterprise fails because the founders are naive or ill-informed. Also, timing is often wrong, and IP is not as good as expected, and/or markets don't develop. Sent from my iPhone
Peter Baltaxe
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Peter Baltaxe Entrepreneur • Advisor
Consultant, product leader, serial entrepreneur
https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/startup-failure-reasons-top/

The big benefit of the Lean Startup approach is that you should be de-risking the product-market fit before making a big investment in product development.

If you read "Traction: A startup guide to getting customers" by Gabriel Weinburg and Justin Mares, they advocate spending half your time on product development and half on getting early customer traction. Most entrepreneurs spend the vast majority of their time on product development.
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