Why success doesn’t depend on your business idea, the quality of your product or your startup capital.
5 min read
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The concept of “startup” has grown so big that its very essence has been mystified by industry norms, stories and the media. About 472 million entrepreneurs and 305 million startups are created each year. Of those startups, 1.3 million are tech-related. Irrespective of the industry, most of them fail. Why do 90 percent of startups fail to pull through? Here are the top three startup myths revealed:
Myth #1: Startups need a unique idea to succeed
Many assume that a startup is a young company that has developed a unique business idea, aims to make an immediate impact, and takes over the market. This is a serious myth. Many believe this misconception because startup successes are generally modeled after unicorn stars like Mark Zuckerburg, Larry Page, Elon Musk, Jack Ma, etc.
However, this fails to uncover the main reason behind their success which lies in their business model, product positioning, and customer experience, and not actually the uniqueness of their idea. Facebook was not the first social network. It was a clone of houseSYSTEM and Myspace. Google was not the first search engine. Google did not invent search monetization; Overture did. Zynga did not invent Farmville; Zynga copied the game from Farmtown. Farmtown was, in turn, a copy of the Chinese game HappyFarm. Microsoft Windows was not the first GUI OS. In fact, it was technically inferior to its competitors but won the market share war between IBM and Apple. This was simply because Microsoft understood what the consumers really wanted more than IBM and Apple.
Takeaway: Consumers want your offering to be unique and your execution to be flawless. Success has nothing to do with your business idea.
Myth #2: If you build it, they will come
The second common mystery about startups is the “if you build it, they will come” controversy. I call it controversy because it is a myth that slowed me down in my journey as a young entrepreneur, and the statistics speak for themselves. Research asserts that 21.5 percent of startups fail in the first year, 30 percent in the second year, 50 percent in the fifth year, and 70 percent in their 10th year. Many have built startups for years, invested their time, energy and life savings, believing that their sponsors will notice their hard work and come for them to no avail. Most people notice the tremendous success of companies like Yahoo, Google and Facebook. After all, these are just free websites that people flock to. This gives a false sense of confidence to entrepreneurs who think building technology and putting it out there is all you need to
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Exposing the Top Three Myths About Successful Startups