Why failed startup owners are diamonds in the rough
There is a lot to learn from founders whose businesses did not take off. They can be valuable assets to bring about a revolution in your companyBy Aksvini Kamaran 31 Jul, 2014
The startup culture has witnessed a renaissance in the past few years as enterprising individuals embrace new opportunities in the market with a bold spark of adventure. However, entrepreneurial endeavours rarely churn into success stories due to the immense competition in the market and a massive audience with severely short attention spans. This heightened probability of failure does not mean that you are at a disadvantage from the beginning; in fact, entrepreneurship is the only profession that grants you absolute control over the success of your venture.
Startups entail high-stakes, high-octane work environment that needs motivated, top tier talent to grind the organisation’s gears and produce results as soon as possible. In recent times, there has been an increased growth rate in the hiring of ex-owners of failed startups by newly conceived businesses. The hunger for success has driven them to seek out wisdom through the industry insights and failures of experienced business owners that could not capitalise on their opportunities.
Business evolution is dictated by those who once paid close attention to business history. Similarly, the success of new startups is dependent on how quickly you pick up on the mistakes of past ventures and innovate to circumvent them. The role of failed entrepreneurs is not merely limited to the domain of consultancies anymore, and upcoming startups are going out of their way to hire them for operations and marketing in order to give good talent a second chance to realise its true potential.
What you need to know
According to a research study conducted by CBInsights, analysts reported that majority of startups shut down operations within 20 months of raising capital. Unfortunately, there is not a rich history of transparent data and insights derived from failed ventures for people to refer to.
Hence, the demand for market wisdom is at its peak and personal experiences are an imperative commodity for channeling a financial revolution in your organisation.
More and more founders are being given encouraged to give detailed, post-mortem reports of their failed ventures to highlight the mistakes they made and how they could have been avoided. Their advice can help you prepare better fundraising campaigns, cost-effective business strategies, customer relationship management programmes, etc.
Many companies have launched accelerator programmes for entrepreneurs that aim to bring a new degree of transparency to account for the success and failures encountered by failed ventures.
For instance, the sincere blog post written by the co-founders of Outbox highlighting the flaws in their business model made for a great case study for aspiring entrepreneurs to dissect. Other failed startups such as DrawQuest, Carwoo and Prim have also played a positive role in influencing new business owners to correct the mistakes they made.
These individuals can prove to be valuable assets when employed in a business that they are fully familiar with. According to these entrepreneurial veterans, here are some of the most commonly encountered challenges that one must address in order to accomplish their financial dreams:
Finding a trustworthy partner
The dilemma of choosing the right co-founder to pilot your business is one of the most critical decisions you will ever make as an entrepreneur. A good company partner must hold a steady business temperament and complement your skill set so that each of you can exercise your expertise in the right direction.
Holding out for the right investor
Entrepreneurs of this generation have the fortune of financial diversity shine before them, which means the objective of raising capital to fund your venture can be achieved in more than one way.
According to the size and scope of your business, you can get your project funded through crowdfunding, VCs, PE, or even through your own family and friends.
Ride the hype wave and seek help
Startup owners share the common fear of obscurity and obsolescence that often prevents them from aggressively marketing themselves as a startup. They perceive that the ‘startup’ tag is stigmatised in the industry and people will not acknowledge the credibility of their work if they are not an established brand.
On the contrary, startups that recognise their position in the industry and actively network with consumers and fellow business owners will actually be able to leverage abundant support from different sources and appear to be a lot more vibrant than other contenders in the market.
The author is Country Manager (Singapore) of imoney.sg
The views expressed here are of the author, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them
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