There was a time when associating with a startup was considered a risky affair. Something you should stray away from. This has changed in the last couple of years. Now, building startup or being part of one will garner respect from your peers. But this has little to do with success rate of startups. In fact, around 90% of the startups fail.
Startups are tricky. I have learnt this from personal experience and from entrepreneurs around me. I have been working on QuikConsult – my online consultation startup – for over a year now and I think building one is not just about getting one thing right. It is more about getting everything right.
Let me explain
Let’s suppose your team built an operating system for smart devices that is 10 times better than Android and iOS. You certainly have a great product at hand but just because you made it, doesn’t mean it is going to sell. Now, your job is to figure out how to compete with giants of technology (Apple and Google).
Obviously, your OS will run on devices and convincing device manufacturers to bet on you rather than companies that have market stronghold won’t be easy.
Let’s take a simpler example
You have the idea of launching a food delivery startup and have tied up with the best restaurants in your region. You have tied up with chains like Pizza Hut to share their delivery infrastructure. Everything looks great and right.
Now, your task is to build a platform that will simplify the task of food discovery, ordering and payments. You can build your own team which is not easy since talent comes at a price.
If you want to outsource the development work, brace yourself to sift through thousands of IT companies claiming to be the best. And let’s not forget the task of marketing.
Not so easy now, eh?
The point is…
Your startup won’t scale just because you have the best business ideas in the world. Or the best tech. Or the best team.
To make it profitable and survive the competition, you will have to:
- Make the best website/app/platform for your business idea
- Get the product-market fit right
- Figure out marketing and branding
- Focus on customer acquisition
- Hire the right set of people
- Deploy the right growth strategies
- Partner with the right service providers
- Focus on discovering and retaining talent
- Keep on improving your website/app/platform
- Speak about it all the time
- Do hundred other things
The max number of points you tick off the above list, greater the chances that your startup will grow to become an established brand.
That’s why I say that building and running a startup is like solving a jigsaw puzzle. Every piece must fit.