For the last 12 years out of the 20 years, I am engaging in International Sales and so have come across many Product Development from our Services Division.
Startups / Entrepreneurs / Funding are the best-used terms I have come across in the last 10 years or more.
Following are what I have learned from the mistakes, which will take any startup to failure.
- Unsearched Concept
- Wrong Partnering
- Poor Quality MVP
- Unrealistic Spending
- Unwanted Quick Hiring
- Not Having Plan-B
I will start a product company once I have a great idea and enough fund either my own or from my circle. But is that all we require to start a company? The answer is NO.
How much market research have we done about the concept or idea which we are considering to develop as a product, carries more weight-age than our idea or concept.
But how many of us are spending our valuable time and initial money on this research?
Out of many products, we have built, very few had made our eyebrows raise on the concept. Remaining always gave us the feeling that “is it not that we have seen more similar product already like this?”
The answer will be always “no we have a unique concept in this than that product”
Everyone cannot come out of a Product Development Company and start a new company with enhanced features of the same product and succeed in the industry.
Our concept is just the very first step of miles of a journey to make to succeed. As soon as we finalize our concept then we need to spend more time to research about the concept. Not just days. Maybe even weeks and months to shape up our concept.
When we start to do that we can see an invisible pattern from the history of many startups, which “failed” to take off.
The biggest push for our success should be from the history of successful people. But our path to follow or pattern to follow should be from the history of people or concept, which are failed.
Not all friendship can make a successful partnering in any Startup. We need to analyze our core strength and should find a partner who is having something else than what we are having.
Example: If we are good in sales then we should have a partner who is good with technology. Even though money plays a vital role we need to have a good combination of Techno-Sales partnership to make a good product company.
Even if we hire a Product Head, that will not substitute for having a Technical partner or Sales Partner or vice versa.
Poor Quality MVP
Our MVP should be a real miniature of our product. When I say miniature it doesn’t mean that we need to have the miniature of all features that we are going to have in our product.
Build an MVP in such a manner that whatever we are going to showcase to our funders will make them immediately understands the next phase of features what we are going to build over this.
Listen to the story of people who have already walked the path and draw a pattern. Depending upon the product, certain spending would carry more priority than other. This differs from Product to product and we should take an appropriate call on each spending.
Unwanted Quick Hiring
The main problem of quick cash drain or derailing of our plans mostly happens because of our unplanned unwanted quick technical hires.
At the very initial stage, we don’t need a sales team or a marketing team at all. We need only a product development team and that team doesn’t need to be big enough to develop the entire product.
Our product until we get funded in ONLY our MVP. So even one developer more than our requirement is a big mistake. For any ad-hoc needs, we always should have a service company of our known circle to step in and help us on resources or development.
Not having Plan-B
Having Plan-B is not always that we are prepared for failure. Having Plan B could be the course of next planned action to correct the path. We can say as “course correction”.
Well start is half done. So if we are preparing well then we can take off well too. To prepare well we need to follow the pattern formed by our seniors on this line and it should echo the “Déjà vu” whenever we are at a right path or at a wrong path.
Success is determined. Plan it and achieve it.