What is the biggest problem facing startups?
Entrepreneurs and people with business ideas or product ideas face some problems and for most people they find it difficult to raise funds while for others it is totally a different issue they are facing. I have searched for answers on Quora and compiled them to help inform others on this problem and how to solve it. Here are the answers people have contributed
Roger Ehrenberg runs a Big Data-oriented seed stage venture fund. This reflects my experience as both an angel and a venture investor.
3) Building a startup team as others have touched on – having the ability to look beyond past success deeper into the individual is a critical skill. So many bad hires are made based on past success – this isn’t always a good predictor of future success in startups.
4) Recruiting a BOD that can help you navigate through the heavy seas of building a business that don’t let their egos get in the way.
5) Raising the right kind of capital – sure capital is a good thing for any startup; but there’s smart and dumb money and the latter can kill a startup as the BOD, founders get emeshed in Power Point driven, marathon session BOD meetings where nothing gets done beyond egos getting fluffed up. Smart capital/money means the investors get the hell out of the way, don’t micromanage the CEO/startup team, help you recruit clients and business partners who will can add value to your bottom line.
6) Hiring a VP of Marketing who is a good product marketer – so many startups are engineering driven (don’t get me wrong I love engineers and technology) and you can get lost in the linearity of product marketing and get disconnected from a “product is a product when a customer agrees to buy it.” Product marketing blends a broad number of skills, with creativity being one of them. It’s a delicate at times and holistic science all unto it’s own.
7) Thinking Global in your strategy – many US based companies don’t build a global brand from day one, They focus on the US market initially and ignore international markets, forcing them to do some serious reworks on the back end which can cost valuable lost time and revenue. Building for global market out the gate makes your product and company stronger – broader, more diverse customer base, incremental revenue opportunities, gives you the ability to leverage huge growth occurring in Asian markets now (contrast that a bit with US economy) and build long term relationships with customers and strategic resellers/channel accounts. Think revenue diversification!
8) Recognizing there are no experts in social marketing today (self included) – the “social fabric/network” (not playing off the movie) is moving too fast for any one person/exec to grasp it all. It’s a digital river flowing by and you have to understand the basics but jump in and start learning, creating and building like everybody else.
9) Raising too much money – I’ve seen too much money kill great startups, as they get lost in the “forest and trees” and start to flounder, going off in too many directions, diluting the brand and customer focus – ego clashes can become rampant, etc.
10) Not having enough fun together – you have to work your asses off, but need to have fun together along the way or you’ll end up disliking or even hating each other and that will percolate up to the surface in the business.