As I think back to my many entrepreneurial endeavors that failed (e.g. post mortem of a failed product), several clear themes come to mind. It isn’t that any one issue or challenge was the culprit, rather there were a number of items that colluded together. Also, most were within my control and I still failed.
Here are five simple reasons entrepreneurs fail:
- Not giving it 100% – it’s hard enough to succeed when working on something full-time that entrepreneurs working on an idea part-time are even more likely to fail because they won’t make enough progress to figure out how to make it successful
- Premature scaling – resources are scarce so a self-inflicted death is more likely when staff or resources are added before a business model is found (see startups shouldn’t hire a VP of Sales)
- Building product in a vacuum – customer usage is oxygen for a product and too often entrepreneurs add features based on whims that don’t add value to customers while also slowing down future product development (e.g. code debt)
- Lack of resourcefulness – it isn’t easy recruiting team members, raising money (if necessary), signing customers, building partnerships, etc and many entrepreneurs run into a brick wall without breaking through it
- Poor market timing – this is the toughest of them all as it is outside the entrepreneur’s control but sometimes it’s the right idea at the wrong time and sometimes it’s just a bad idea, and it is always difficult to tell
There’s no fool-proof way to be successful but the five simple reasons entrepreneurs fail comes up over and over again. Learn from these issues and increase your chance of success.
What else? What are some other reasons entrepreneurs fail?