“Startup” is a glamorous word that catches the interest of millions of people. It lights up hope in every individual to have its own business and to earn a fortune out of it. But, the question here is: do these startups actually work out? Well, when we look at the examples of Flipkart, InMobi, Snapdeal, etc. we are assured that startups do work well and make a man a “Millionaire.” However, this is just the glitzy side of a startup; the real side reveals the horrors of failure and dejection. But, here again, failure is the first step to success, and I was the lucky one to have climbed on this step. Like, every other person, I was beguiled by the idea of a startup and was very eager, to begin with, it. So, without any much research and planning, I jumped into this startup world.
I worked in a reputed IT company in U.K. and earned well. But this startup fever brought me back to India, and I without much of thought I invested all my savings in starting a technology firm. I summoned some of my old friends and acquaintances and started developing an app. Yes, I began development without much background research. I believed that this startup would revolutionize the industry and I will be a billionaire. But, as we know, dreams come to reality only when it is well implemented. Unfortunately, the startup didn’t work as expected and eventually was shut down. Though this failure was disheartening, it taught some great lessons realizing my mistakes. Below listed are my biggest mistakes I made in this startup world.
The term startup and the glamor associated with it made me so excited that I forgot about the main aspect of a startup. My only focus was to develop an app that could earn me money. I didn’t conduct any research about the market trends, and the customer’s requirement. I just started to develop an app which I thought would be appropriate. I believed that my product would be loved by customers, without having the knowledge of my potential clients. It was the first mistake that I commit. I lost my valued customers because of my eagerness.
Walk before you Run
As I have explained, I was always in a rush, for money and fame, so I started to run even before I was able to walk. I wanted to be the proud owner of the best product in the market, and as a result, I tried to implement every feature in the app. As a result, the launch delayed, and it did not capture the expected attention. Here, what needed was a step by step approach, I was supposed to deliver the first version of the product and then as per feedback, updates were to be made. But I followed a revese path, and evidently, the outcome was not appreciable.
Unite your Team
Team work is the key to success for any organization, and I missed on this very rule. I hired people to work for me but was unable to transform them into a team. I was unable to communicate the startup goals and visions to them appropriately. As a result, the team didn’t work well, and I lost almost everything. Another mistake which I commit during this time was selecting a friend as a co-founder with same mindset and skills. Today, when I analyze the situation, I realize that choosing a person with a different ideology and a different skill set would have worked best for the company.
Customer is God
From my failed startup, I learned that when you are running a business, it is necessary to understand your customer’s demand. In my startup, I didn’t hear the call of the client. Rather, I created a product which I felt was suitable for the marketing, without actually studying the marketing trends. This mistake dragged me to failure. However, it taught me that customers are God and one must always follow them to achieve success.
Never Lose your Focus
It is always better to be an expert in one field than being a novice in 5 areas. Expertise brings in quality and efficiency. But I failed to understand this simple fact and diverted my firm’s efforts in various directions. I lost my focus and deviated from my sheer goal. This diversion became the prime cause of my failure.
It is rightly said that “Failure is the key to Success.” The failure of my startup made me realize that failure is a bigger achievement than success because it teaches you the most valuable lessons of life. This startup was my first business experience, and its failure helped me learn the ground rules for its efficient functioning. Although I lost all my money to this startup, I also a learned lifetime lessons from the same. The failure made me wiser and more responsible.