How to Avoid the #1 Reason Most Startups Fail

crazy When you’re bootstrapping a startup, you have to be realistic. You can’t ignore the sea of failed startups before you, but you’re determined not to make the same mistakes they did.

You’re a little nervous, but you’ve armed yourself with in-depth market research, a clearly defined business plan, and the cohesive team you’ll need to make sure your startup sees the light of day.

…Or have you?

Why Startups Fail

It turns out, the biggest reason startups fail today is because there is no current market need for their product. Failure is the only option when you are offering a product or service that no one needs or wants. Recent studies say 42% of startups that fail did so because no one was interested in what they created.

Startups-FailWhy might smart, passionate, capable entrepreneurs misjudge their company’s value to consumers even though they live and breathe their startup?

Because love is blind. Startup founders, being so closely involved with every step of the process, sometimes fall in love with what they’re offering consumers (their solution) instead of the larger problem their product is trying to solve.

After spending months or years working on your startup, the company begins to feel like a precious creation that must be looked after and believed in no matter what. But what do you do when you find out your startup is a loss you need to cut? How can you set yourself up for success instead of failure?

“Fall in love with your problem, not your solution.” Successful startups identify an existing problem that needs an innovative solution. People should already understand and relate to this problem–the startups with staying power harness this understanding and market their solution that way.

For example, cloth diapers were inconvenient. In 1947, a housewife came up with the idea for diapers with disposable pads and secured the patent. She sewed the first diapers herself and began manufacturing soon after.

Parents easily got on board with what seemed to be a solution to a problem they had extensive personal experience with–the inconvenience of washing and changing cloth diapers. Image via

Her company was very successful and her products became available worldwide. Of course, the diapers with disposable pads were only a success until the “all-in-one” truly disposable styles came out in the 1950s from larger manufacturers–an even better solution to the same problem. But that’s another post!

So, avoid the number one reason most startups fail. Fall in love with the problem you want to solve and not necessarily the way you want to solve it. With a clearly defined plan and a view of the bigger picture, you can avoid this pitfall and make smart decisions for  your startup that will pave the way to success.


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