I wouldn’t be wrong to quote that about 50% of startups fail within 2 years of their inception [Source]. If that’s so, its a large number and possibly you could be affected by it. In past few years, i’ve been monitoring news and realized that almost all failures have one root cause.
The problem with entrepreneurs is not that they lack ideas or confidence. No, not even determination, entrepreneurs have gone to heights by selling their homes and mortgaging all their properties to risk it for their startup. And, now when i consider the whole startup ecosystem, there has to be some universal factor ruling and being responsible for their failures. What I found is most fail because of “Wrong Approach”.
Regardless of which field you chose, what team you hire, what funding you get you’re planning to fail if you do not have the correct approach. For that matter, why do you think we consider Bill Gates or Steve Jobs as a visionary? It’s because they were charismatic and great leaders, but they had the right approach to whatever they wanted to achieve. To simply put it, Obama won the elections because he had great vision and his ability to make others realize it themselves.
First we are going to look over at a Case Study I did.
CUIL – The Google Killer
in 2008, there was much buzz about this search engine. The engineers boasted that Cuil indexed more pages than any other search engine on the web. Yes, you heard it right. It manages to receive $33 Million in funding. Today, it’s nowhere [Source].
I remember reading about it in a local newspaper out here in Mumbai. They called it “Google Killer”. So was the web’s verdict for that “month or so”. It made lot of noise. Indeed, it added features which would have done good to users and much harm to Google. The interface was refreshing, look was cool, search was fast, and when you could search more pages than Google who wouldn’t go for CUIL? Another fact, Cuil was started by ex-Googlers, Anna Paterson and Russell Power. With great people and good money, why-in-the-world did they fail?
They did not have the right approach. When I first used Cuil, I found it amusing. Darn it, every new thing is amusing to users for once. But this amusement is never really going to make you win “loyal” users.
Wrong Approach : Being a Market Changer.
Right Approach : Changing people’s habit.
Cuil, never really gave me a reason why I should leave that dull, not so “cuil” looking search engine for it. When I never got it, i never looked back at it ever in my life. So did millions. The search engine was good but from what I had analyzed, they never had a mechanism or some sort of marketing tactic which could attract users again and again. They told them just one thing, “Yeah lads, we’re searching much more than the Big Daddy, Google itself”. How do users even care? They did not give a substantial reason to change. This proves that reasoning forms a priceless part of startup. Reasons for why your doing something and why others should do the same.
When most businesses fail it can be difficult to identify exactly what the reason was, however it can usually be traced to the leadership guiding the boat. In order to shape the most effective leadership style some seek mentors and programs, like a masters of organizational leadership.
So what I’m shouting on top of my voice is – Get a reason for what you do. Think why your customers or users should get your piece of work. Why, Why and Why. Not What or How. Believe me, it will change the way you work and how others look at it.