In our lifetime, we are faced with making decisions on a daily basis. Some decisions can be more defining than others. Choosing a career or a job for example, is one of the most important decisions we have to make. Whether we are fresh out of college, about to look for a new challenge, or even a career change, the vast number of options in the job market and the array of ideas worth exploring, can be challenging and overwhelming at times, especially if faced with ideological adversity, a weak economy, or financial constraints.
If we look at what attracts Millennials to Startups, we can see that the room for innovation and flexibility trumps the option of choosing a comfortable job in a corporate setup. Recent surveys have shown that more than half of Millennials want to work for a Startup.
While Startup culture has the potential to be a creative haven for this generation, joining or starting a company comes with its own risks. According to an article in Forbes magazine by Entrepreneur Neil Patel, almost 90% of Startups fail. Although this is a sobering percentage that is definitely worth thinking about, it is still worth exploring the positive experiences that come with building a Startup, and the lessons learned from those who fail or succeed on their entrepreneurial journey.
The most important success factors for starting a startup business
When it comes to tech startups, there are numerous lessons to be mentioned. But the significant reasons are boiled down to a few that I found to be important enough to be listed here:
Stay realistic: it is imperative for an entrepreneur in the tech world, to stay as realistic as possible. As motivating and inspirational a Startup idea or product can be, it still needs to be coupled with a healthy dose of reality and backed by cold hard facts and numbers. This is exceptionally important when it comes to having sufficient funding in the first place, as well as maintaining smart expenditure.
Miscalculation of market demand: according to Fortune, the number one reason for Startup failure is lack of market need for a product or service. The idealistic approach of Startups when creating a product that the market doesn’t need, in hopes of convincing it otherwise, could pose as a problem.
Timing: According to Bill Gross’s insightful Tedtalk in 2015, timing of the product launch is another crucial factor to consider when reviewing the success or failure of a Startup. Excellent examples of good timing would be Uber and Airbnb. They both launched at the peak of recession and high need for extra money.
Hiring the wrong team: although this reason ranked at number 3 in CBInsights 101 post-mortem Analysis by Startup founders, I believe that it is a reason that should rank even higher and not be dismissed as a core factor behind a long-lasting success of a Startup (perhaps even as important if not more so than the Startup idea itself).
There is no doubt that organization culture and strong team dynamics are the cornerstones for the success of a business. Both are of course, can be heavily reliant on successful hiring. What seems to be a recurring issue with our clients who are looking to assembling a class A team, is adopting more of a comfortable or “safe” approach when selecting a candidate, rather than having less of black and white approach to their strengths and potential for improvement.
While it might be good to be “better safe than sorry”, we should also not forget that one of the biggest reasons why talents choose to work for a Startup is the likelihood of having more responsibility and autonomy. The last thing they are looking for is uniformity and a place where they cannot thrive.
At Talent Tree, I’d like to establish a NO ABCD (no Assuming, no Blaming, no Complaining, no Defending) culture, and make sure that it is communicated professionally within the team. Lastly, what we should keep in mind is that while Startups have the potential to make the world a better place, we must see that change take place from within, and pursue disruptive thinking in a positive way that propels the business and the team to new heights.