Your startup has fallen down the black hole of doom and there is no way out but to turn around and fight.
First, let’s take a step back and talk about the Black Hole of Startup Doom. We first learned about it from our friends in the startup community. You may know it as the vortex of doom or, better yet, recognize it as the point where you and your team members begin losing faith in your startup. When faith starts to dwindle, so does passion and perseverance. As a result, startups begin to fall down a never-ending tunnel full of bad energy. And the only way out? Yep. You guessed it. You must find a way to reclaim your passion and perseverance. If there is any recipe for startup success, it’s those two ingredients.
Even so, the black hole is often unavoidable. Nearly every startup either teeters on the edge or eventually tumbles into this bottomless pit. It’s all just part of the process of bringing something new to the marketplace. The question isn’t how to avoid it but how to be better prepared to get yourself out.
Here are some things to think about while finding your way out of the Black Hole of Startup Doom:
1.) Are you solving a problem that exists?
A recent article in Fortune magazine states:
“The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” The problem is that entrepreneurs have taken that to heart.”
The same article suggests that 42% of startups fail because there isn’t a need for the product or service in the marketplace. Have you thoroughly evaluated the problem you’re solving? Have you gotten feedback from all your potential stakeholders including your end users, investors, manufacturers, distributors and developers? Once you fully understand your solution and the points of view of stakeholders who stand to gain measurable benefit from it, you will be better equipped to begin your ascent out of the black hole.
2.) Are your finances in order?
Financial complications can certainly pull startups into the black hole. However, running out of cash isn’t always the problem. It’s how you run out of cash that can give you insight into your startup’s spending habits. Get to know your finances inside and out and only spend money on things of value that promise to return measurable gains in market suitability and speed to market.
What if you have no money or have yet to receive funding? Do not give up searching for it. If you’ve done your research and proved there is a need for your startup, then put your passion and perseverance into overdrive. Bone up on your presentation skills and get in touch with every VC or Angel Investor out there.
3.) Is your team the right team? And are they fully on-board?
According to the chart on the left, hiring the wrong team is one of the top 3 reasons why startups fall. It’s crucial to find a committed team and to surround your self with partners that have all the right skillsets.
Don’t sacrifice the success of your startup just to keep your friends on board. Things are serious in the Black Hole and your team must be lean and fit for the challenging tasks ahead.