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Startup Rule #1: SURVIVE.

Stashed in: Founders, Startups, 106 Miles, Scaling, Retweet this., Problem?, Funding, Startup Lessons, Mission, Business Advice, @paulg, #startuptriplets, Startup Advice, Infographics!, Survivor!, startup, VC, Becoming, Startups

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Most companies fail because they run out of money, not enough people want their products, and/or the people running the company lose faith that they're on the right path. No wonder starting a company is hard.

My favorite article on the subject comes from Robert X. Cringely, who wrote in Rules of the Road,

High-tech startups fail for only three reasons: stupidity, luck, and greed.

Cringely says 19 out of 20 startups fail, and elaborates on three tips for would-be startup entrepreneurs:

  1. Avoid stupid and unlucky people. If you are stupid or have bad luck, don't start a startup.

  2. Develop a product that you want to do and that people want, not one that they want you to do or that no one wants.

  3. Don't take venture funding too soon.

Other articles I recommend:

In my opinion the best way not to die is to have a mission you truly believe in, and don't prematurely optimize.

Solve today's problems today, and don't solve the problems you don't have.

And, as always, I recommend reading The Best Convos about FAIL...

See also the report from Blackbox that says startup failure usually comes from premature scaling.


Thanks for the chart Adam. This is fantastic.

It really is, and it rewards multiple viewings.

How did I miss this? This is 100% true. I have lived it.

You didn't miss it at all, Mark.

And yes, it's a very hard lesson to learn, especially when you live through it.

As RDJ says in Tropic Thunder, Survive.

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