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Why do startups fail? 4 reasons

Omar Mohout and Carine Lucas wrote the book 99 Reasons Why Startups Fail. The title speaks for itself: the book gives you 99 reasons why startups fail and how to avoid them. Here you can find the first four reasons. Write them down if you are planning to become an entrepreneur! 

4 reasons why startups fail

ideaContrary to the old line, “Everything that can be invented has been invented,” the more complex the world becomes, the more problems there are to solve. That said, it’s got to be a big enough problem (otherwise no business) and a frequent problem (otherwise no market) and a way better solution than what’s already out there. Better means 10 times better not 10 %, i.e. a magnitude improvement.


Many startups make imitations of some existing company. That’s one source of ideas, but not the best. If you look at the origins of successful startups, few were started in imitation of some other startup. Usually they got their ideas from some specific, unsolved problem the founders identified, often with the purpose of overcoming an obstacle they encountered themselves. 


Some startups are run by techies who are obsessed with solving interesting technical problems, instead of making users happy. In a startup, you’re not just trying to solve problems for the sake of it. If you want to do that, turn to fundamental research. In a startup, you’re trying to solve problems that users actually care about. 


If you can’t make your own prototype, it’s probably too big. So lower your ambitions and make it feasible. A solid existing but less complete prototype is better than a perfect hypothetical one that will never see the light of day. 


Eager to know the other 95 reasons?

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99 reasons



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