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    Posted by Shane McQuillan 22 Jul
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    What Holds Startups Back?

    The universe never conspires against a single person, because if it was then either it, or whatever belief system you have is incalculably cruel. Approaching questions like 'Why is my startup not going the way I want it to?' are ones that you really need to consider empirically and with an open mind. You need to know what holds startups back in order to move your startup forward.

    First off, the moment you start to ask this question with curiosity and a desire to know why then you're immediately off to a good start. You want to know how to change and take the advice needed to help realize your potential. So, in this article, we're going to be digging into some of the misconceptions that may be holding your startup company back from success.

    The world is a very nuanced one, so it may be that some of you out there have had more personal experiences with this question. And we're only too enthusiastic about hearing them, so leave them in the comments and share your insight!

    Firstly - 'Build it, and They Will Come.'

    Personally, I've heard this on numerous occasions in the emerging tech world, and while some entrepreneurs can really work in their element and strike a gold vein. The problem is that you simply cannot build up an idea like this because it usually prioritizes the wants of the creators as opposed to the needs of the users.

    The argument of 'I needed something like this, so I built it' is all well and good, but it needs to approach a typical, real-world problem.

    The best solution for this is to really consider just how it could really resonate with the end-user; why should they go out and buy this product or make use of your idea? In a previous post, we discussed the crucial consideration of where the consumer fits into your business model.

    Pair that vision together with a very well-informed insight into the market, and you can create a successful business.

    Second - Innovation is all That Matters

    Being the leader in a field doesn't spell out immediate fame and fortune for companies, all we need to do is look at some of the pioneering companies in the early stages of the Internet, Mobile Phones and Social Media.

    Being the first one to create a car doesn't matter if it takes the driver an arbitrary number of steps just to turn it on. They're only going to care about the developer who just made it go with the turn of a key.

    Innovation, with simplicity in iteration, is what helps to shift a product and grow a company. Combine this with an effective marketing strategy that helps to inform, educate, and empower consumers to use your product, and you're well on your way to a successful business.

    Third - Whatever Happens [Don't] Stick to the Plan!

    Startup companies and entrepreneurs are nothing if not passionate about what products they've created and the brand they're building up. While this isn't a wholly widespread thing, individuals can often be hell-bent on sticking to their initial business plan.

    There's a certain logic to this; the only issue with this mantra is that it can prevent your startup from being what a startup often has to be to succeed - malleable and dynamic.

    This is where your consumers and community can help. Once your product and business are out in the public domain, they're going to be very up-front about what does and doesn't work.

    And if that directly hits on your business plan, you need to have the power to take that criticism well, re-consider your over-arching plan and, if necessary, change and improvise.

    Fourth - Instant Success is Never Instant

    Most businessmen, entrepreneurs, and innovators that people point to as being an example of an 'overnight success' really weren't.

    The only reason that there's is this 'Social Proof' is because we don't dig into the back-stories of these individuals and businesses to find the truth - which is that they come with years of hard graft.

    Diving into a startup company with the impression that you'll be an instant smash hit is something that can take a toll on your psychological well-being and your staying power.

    If you're not prepared for the protracted marathon that is building a company and expect it to be pretty fast-moving, then you're setting yourself up for fast failure. The big names that we know today understood that they had a long and often infuriating path to walk down.

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