As speakers, advisers and trainers in the entrepreneurial space, we’ve been particularly excited by our December survey of the principles of 14 international accelerators. We wanted to know, from their point of view, what were the key factors in startup success … and failure. As far as we know, this is the most recent study conducted on this subject. Although these folks are from all over the world, it’s amazing how much they agree when it comes to why startups fail.
Inadequate Testing was by far the most mentioned reason for startup failure. This factor is identified by several other terms like not getting started, not understanding how to access the market, and not understanding the barriers to entry. But Greg Wright, founder of HATCH pitch, put it quite succinctly: “Failure to test and validate hypotheses and assumptions,” and its corollary, “Premature scaling (seeking/obtaining funding too early, ramping production/team/advertising before achieving product market fit).”
Keith Hopper, CEO of Danger Fort Labs, adds, “Not addressing an important enough need that customers are willing to pay for.” Ben Hsieh, program manager of Nest and Jason Cole, CEO of Da Primus Consulting, both agree that “not finding product market fit” is a main cause of failure.
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Who We Are
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.
Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.
They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.
Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.
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