Earlier today I was talking to a tech investor about different startups in Atlanta. Towards the end of the conversation he asked what I thought were the main reasons why some entrepreneurs succeed and others don’t. It’s a great question that doesn’t have an easy answer. See, there are a number of entrepreneurs that seem to have it all going for them, yet they fail miserably. Conversely, there are a number of entrepreneurs that seem like they have a slim chance of success, yet amazing things happen.
Here are the three main reasons entrepreneurs succeed:
- Market Timing – A seemingly good idea with poor market timing is a bad idea. No matter what the entrepreneur does, if the market isn’t ready, it isn’t going to work out. Market timing matters much more than more people realize (see Bill Gross on market timing).
- Resilience – The entrepreneurial journey is a grind, especially the first few years, which are especially hard. I know entrepreneurs that had to pivot multiple times over multiple years before figuring out something that worked. Having the internal fortitude and locus of control makes a big impact.
- Must-Have vs Nice-to-Have Product – Too many products, especially tech products, are nice-to-have apps that do something that’s OK but not revolutionary. This is especially hard because it’s not always obvious early on just how valuable and impactful a product can be before it’s fleshed out (see Candy, Vitamins, and Pain-Killers).
Other aspects like the team are incredibly important but I’ve found these to be the three main reasons entrepreneurs succeed. When a resilient entrepreneur has a must-have product with great market timing, awesome things happen.
What else? What are your top three reasons entrepreneurs succeed?