survival of the fittest

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Remember the Zune project, the portable music player aimed at destroying the monstrous sales figures of Apple’s iPod? Or the operating system meego, which was said to be one of the most promising operating systems on mobile to be built? Or the social networking site Hi5 that was literally demolished by Facebook when it had just started gaining ground from orkut.

These startups along are just some examples of projects that when they came in the market were considered game changers in their respective industries but vanquished soon after. Some of them may still be running but they are nowhere as compared to their expectations. Ideas for launching new startups, and the overly optimistic founders behind them, are a dime a dozen in this era of fast-growing knowledge. Look at the story of Kodak, a photography giant, a ship that was considered unsinkable, is bankrupt today.

Why do these startups fail? Is the idea their problem? Is their team not good enough or is it just bad luck? We try to see some reasons why they fail.

 

  1. We had no customers / we lost our customers too soon

Look at the case of Meego, an operating system launched at about the same time as android and said to be better than android in many ways. BUT IT FAILED. The reason may be given that they took to a NOKIA, which lost faith in Meego just after one device (although that device was well appreciated by critics. The fact is that although a brilliant idea, if u fail to get to your customers, your product is bound to fail.

   2.We went wrong on new recruitments-

You hired the wrong people or u hired people at wrong positions or the case similar to the Facebook story when the twins hired mark zuckerburg and he well sort of stole his idea and moved out. A startup must be very careful while recruiting and what are they really recruiting members for, e.g. Hiring people for sales even when the product is not ready!

3.    We had a bad timing

As a simple case scenario I remember hosting a b-quiz competition during college holidays. Although the prize money and everything was grand but it was awful timing. You have to make sure that people have to be ready for your product. We all know the success difference between Microsoft slate (launched much earlier) and iPad.

4.    Our idea wasn’t good enough

Sometimes the idea itself isn’t good and the people working on it loose motivation on that idea. Think again, thrice, and if you still think its not working try something else. Let’s not forget that Apple had some dark days, both early on and when their stock fell to $11 a share in the mid-90s. They were doing “okay” in computer sales then came their innovations at the right time – iPod, iPhone and the rest…as they say…is history.

 5.   We Didn’t Manage Cash Flow Correctly

Numbers are not only the oxygen of a business; they are the vital signs as well. When making a startup work, we try to hire a huge sales force, a good marketing network and what not but we forget something’s that are fundamental. Your team must have an accountant or a person who is good at reading financial reports and can manage the cash flow among the chaos that a startup usually faces in the beginning.

In the end ill like to say “You learn more from defeats than victories”. Try and learn from what mistakes you have made. The only way to succeed is when you try and make sure that’s the one thing that you don’t fail in doing.

 

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