Sunday, July 29, 2012

Refocusing on the customer to improve startup failure rates

Even when startups have a seemingly good idea, high-powered team, funding, and marketing, most fail. Instead of accepting this as normal (a badge of courage and a ‘fail early, fail fast’ mentality), many people have started to question this, and congruently with Silicon Valley’s problem-solving mindset, try to solve the high rate of startup failures.

It is not that startups fail to build products and services, it is that they fail to build products and services that anyone WANTS.
Focusing on the customer and their needs, first, last, and at every step of the way, is suggested as the answer for creating startups that are far less likely to fail. One advent in tools to help develop and stay in the customer-centric mindset is the ‘canvas’ concept. The canvas is a large paper with the quadrants of the business model set forth, and teams populate the quadrants with content written on post-its which can be dynamically updated as ideas change and assumptions are validated. Some examples are the Lean Startup Machine Canvas and Business Model Canvas.

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