One area I’ve been fascinated with is how to systematically start successful startups. I’ve talked to hundreds of successful entrepreneurs and thousands of unsuccessful entrepreneurs in search of patterns, best practices, and any insights into what does and doesn’t work. Even after talking to thousands of people, writing thousands of blogs posts, and reading hundreds of books, I can’t tell what will and won’t work.
What I have seen is characteristics that increase the chance of entrepreneurial success.
Founders full of grit, resourcefulness, and a past full-time entrepreneurial failure are more likely to succeed. The team matters.
Markets that are undergoing change and transformation are more likely to have great opportunities. The disruptive stream matters.
Must-have products that are clearly differentiated and not a nice-to-have are more likely to win. A not-a-meme product matters.
Over the last several years I’ve worked with a number of excellent entrepreneurs to start companies such as Pardot, Rigor, SalesLoft, and Terminus. Some thrive, most fail. Personally, I’ve started many more that have failed than succeeded. Thankfully, the power of SaaS plus bigger markets makes winners cover many losses.
Now, our amazing team is working on a startup studio to systematically start and grow successful startups. We’ll combine past learning with new learnings to start several companies per year and help accelerate the next wave of startups.
Know anyone looking to become a SaaS entrepreneur? We’re hiring entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIRs) to evaluate and build new startups. Please let me know here or on LinkedIn.