#1 Failure of Idea-Stage B2B Startups

Last week I was talking to an entrepreneur about an idea-stage B2B startup. After a few minutes of casual talk I asked for the pitch: tell me about the idea. Now this wasn’t a technology idea, so I didn’t have much experience, but it still didn’t sound right. I wasn’t clear why a business would pay for it and how it would be distributed. A few minutes into the idea I went for the hardest question that represents the #1 failure of idea-stage B2B startups:

What did 10 potential prospects of this product say when you asked them about it?


The entrepreneur hadn’t talked to prospects yet. It’s much easier, and more fun, to get feedback from other entrepreneurs compared to talking to prospects. There’s a fear that the idea isn’t good enough and needs to be refined before talking to prospects. Unfounded. The number one failure of idea-stage B2B startups is not talking to prospects immediately and pursuing customer driven development.

What else? What are some other mistakes idea-stage startups make?

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