Why do so many startups fail?

Bill Gross (of IdeaLab) has a great theory about the most important factor in what makes a Startup business succeed or fail: It’s Timing.

This short video is well worth watching…but here’s the overview:

5 Major factors for Startup Success (in order of importance):


  1. Timing (Too early, too late, just right)
  2. The Team (Was it well executed)
  3. The Idea (How good, how relevant, how on-trend…)
  4. The Business Model (structured for business success)

    “Everybody has a plan…until they get punched in the face” – Mike Tyson

  5. Funding (not enough, too much, too early, too late)


Key Takeaway: Focus on the timing of your idea first


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How to analyze the timing of a Startup / Business / Invention / Product?

1 – Look at market trends

Don’t look at what people ARE doing, look at what they WILL BE DOING.


2 – Demographics

“Fact-based information is … the raw material from which societies identify problems and construct solutions.” 


3 – Economic Trends

AirBnB and Uber emerged during the economic downturn when people were eager to find sources of income.


4 – Find out if consumers are really ready for your product/service/business


5 – Be realistic when you get your answer.

Don’t ignore the data. Toss your emotions, Kill your Darlings.

I also checked out a bit of a rebuttal to Bill’s theory over at Medium.com which plays a bit of Devil’s Advocate:

“…you don’t actually know what makes companies succeed or fail”

This alternate theory about Startup Success is that it’s not about Timing, it’s about LUCK:

You need to try out a lot of things and see what works!

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