How to Fail as a Startup

“Startups don’t fail because they lack a product; they fail because they lack customers and a proven financial model.” – Steve Blank, 4 Steps to the Epiphany

So, what is a startup? A startup is a concept in search of customers and scalable business model.
Once these are obtained, the startup turns into a company. The focus is on executing the company’s services.


Focus of a Startup

While still a startup, the founders have a vision of the product, customers, pain, business model, etc. The goal is to find paying customers for that vision. As quick as possible. As cheap as possible.

No earlyvangelists? Revise the vision. Iterate or drop the project.

Focus is on learning.


Focus of a Company

While a company, by definition you have customers & a proven business model. The approach here is different: ask your customers what they want, and build it. have an idea? Ask your customers if they want it.

Focus is on executing.


Product-driven Market vs. Market-driven Product

This important difference is efficiently summarized here:

In a startup, the market is product-driven.

In a company, the product is market-driven.

Steve Blank, 4 Steps to the Epiphany