What kills a startup?

he title is a bit of a misnomer, it should be ‘what enables a startup to survive’ but it came from an article I was sent today titled ’18 mistakes that kill startups’ to comment on. Got me thinking. What does kill a startup? And most importantly, what enables survival?

  • Dan
  • Business, Entrepreneurship, Startupbusiness, startup
  • Business, Startup
  • 10, October

18 mistakes startups makeThe title is a bit of a misnomer, it should be ‘what enables a startup to survive’ but it came from an article I was sent today titled ’18 mistakes that kill startups’ to comment on. Got me thinking.

What does kill a startup? And most importantly, what enables survival?

I get why this list was made, and agree with all 18 to some degree but it’s not a checklist to work with. It’s simply not that simple.

Mark Cuban (Allegedly. I say allegedly because some of it doesn’t fly for me either and he’s a seriously smart dude) published this list too:

Mark Cubans Rules For Startups

(I take issue with 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9 just for the record. They all need serious amounts of thought in context. Again, this isn’t just a checklist to work with.)

You can slice and dice it however you want to but if you look at what really makes a startup fly it’s ‘magic’ – based in the intangibles of timing and luck. Here lies the fairy dust that enables greatness once you have the fundamentals sorted obviously. Yes you can have a great idea, great team, great tech, cash in the bank but if that last bit of magic doesn’t come together then you can whistle Dixie as it just ain’t gonna happen for you.

So what can you do?

There is one thing you can do.

Be positive and present. Energetically switched on. Be it everywhere you go. Live it. Radiate it.

Hire smart people who get this, empower and inspire them to live it with you. This is the core of the magic. Of course it can’t change bad timing/ideas/cash flow etc! BUT it will energise your team to see problems in new ways, and it will change your luck.

Has Tech Topped Out?

What else do you need your smartphone to do? Do you reaaaally need it to be faster, bigger or thinner? Probably not in real money (Unless you’re still holding one of these). I would like to be so bold to suggest that tech has topped out. There is nothing left to do.

What else do you need your smartphone to do? Do you reaaaally need it to be faster, bigger or thinner? Probably not in real money (Unless you’re still holding one of these).

I would like to be so bold to suggest that tech has topped out. There is nothing left to do. We already have it all.

“There is no more evolution. Only revolution.”

So let’s just pack up and sell our tech shares? Well of course not, but something will have to chasmically shift to make me buy the next iPhone, laptop or tablet. And a change in form factor is not going to rub and tug either. Let’s look at the flounderings of the big guys:

Google Glass was an epic turd from the off. Guys – Even though your brand is powerful enough to maintain primary colours and Times New Roman, you still don’t have enough clout to make me wear those. Did you play with a set? Truly terrible user experience. Like an 80s kaleidoscope. #Nope

iWatchI’m not sure Apple have nutted the iWatch either. It just doesn’t look very… Apple. Does it? I’m hoping better in the flesh. But why would I give up my Rolex to look even more like a tech douche? Probably just for sports. #Nope

So what about Facebook’s purchase – Oculus Rift? It’s a great foray into the virtual realm. Quite amazing as far as the reports go but why? Why do I need or want them?

I get that with all these technologies it’s about thinning, paring back, applying the tech in new ways but I just can’t see this base of development in this form factor making any difference? Am I missing something?

TeslaCars. Oh Em Gee. Ok so Tesla is cooking. The cars look amazing (Well most of them do). But this isn’t new. There is no new tech in them. Just a cute application of the old, barring the battery technology. But who wants to talk about that?! All we care about is that they last forever and cost 40p, with zero environmental impact. #YesPlease

3D Printing

The biggest white elephant of our recent tech news driven times. No-one has yet been able to explain to me where the raw materials, designs and finishing skills come from or how they’re managed and applied. Maybe we could 3D print those too. #Nope

So where will the revolution come from?

I have no idea. Let’s hope it’s Quantum based. In the form of a human transporter – Afternoon Tea in Sydney anyone?