13 reasons why your startup will fail:

29. February 2012

As a co-founder of five startups and a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, David Feinleib has seen both sides of the startup world.

From 2009 to 2011, he was a general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, where he got his fair share of terrible pitches.

He’s also an entrepreneur. He’s sold two startups, Consera (to HP) and onDevice (to Keynote Systems), and is still running three others he cofounded: Speechpad, Onepo.st, and Likewise.

Despite his success as an entrepreneur, Feinleib felt like everyone was focusing on all their attention on the startups who made it big like Facebook. The reality is that eight out of 10 business fail in their first three years and venture capitalists only fund the top 1 percent of pitches they see, he said.

In 2008, he wrote a blog post, Why Startups Fail. The post got so much attention that Feinleib decided to turn it into a book called Why Startups Fail: And How Yours Can Succeed, which was published in December.

Feinleib gave us a cheat sheet and told us 13 things startups do that make them fail:

  • There’s no place for your product: “Investors are fond of debating which they care about more: the market or the entrepreneur. The reality is, great entrepreneurs find great markets. Many startups never achieve the elusive product-market fit. Some companies, like Facebook and Zynga, find product-market fit right out of the gate. Or at least they appear to. Others, like Intuit, go along for years until they crack the code.” 
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