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How to Learn from Failure and Make your Startup a Roaring Success!

9 September, 2014 | Article Source: Rob LaPointe  |   (No Comments) | 43,477 Views
Make your Startup a Roaring Success!

Make your Startup a Roaring Success!

Drew Houston, founder of Dropbox, is oft quoted as saying: “Don’t worry about failure, you only have to be right once.” It’s a great quote, because it tersely implies a scary truth about success, which is that most success stories are preceded by many failure stories. But that’s ok! Because while failure stories are short and concise—they start and they end—success stories go on and on far into the future, and that’s what we’re all striving for!

So with that in mind, let’s see what lessons we can learn from failure, as provided by some of the most successful people to ever fail:

#1 You can’t do everything yourself. Many entrepreneurs have expressed this problem; micromanagement and perfectionism prevent progress and end up piling too much stress on one individual’s shoulders. It’s a recipe for disaster. Learn to rely on the strengths of your team!

“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team,” says Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.

#2 Your customers are the ones who need to like your product, not your VCs, advisors, or colleagues. If you aren’t getting feedback from customers, it’s a lot harder to craft something they’ll actually want (and pay for). Entrepreneurs sometimes lose touch with reality (probably a symptom of being so visionary) and forget to ground their ideas in value to customers.

“The problem with entrepreneurship is we are often working really hard producing high quality products that no-one wants.” – Eric Ries, co-founder of IMVU.

Similarly, Bill Gates says “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

#3 You have to launch a product. You can’t just keep iterating forever in search of perfection. Trust in the value of your product and get it into people’s hands. If you want to build the perfect product, you need consumer feedback (as discussed in #2).

Again we turn to Reid Hoffman, who says “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

#4 Don’t get held back by fear or doubt. This can take some practice, but it is vital. Risk-taking is unanimously considered a fundamental of entrepreneurialism. Don’t let the risks generate doubt; success isn’t created by timidity.

“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” – Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post

#5 Aggressively pursue sales, marketing, and partnerships. Not that you have to be a jerk, but you do sometimes have to be relentless. Building a business means experiencing dozens of little failures throughout the year as deals fall through and sales fail to close. If you want to survive, you absolutely have to get people on board with the product, and that means putting your shoulder to the wheel and doing whatever it takes.

Every business is different, of course, so you’ll need to gauge your need for sales and marketing individually, but it’s better to do too much than too little. Getting your product in front of customers demands effort.

“The top salesperson in the organization probably missed more sales than 90% of the sales people on the team, but they also made more calls than the others made.” – Zig Ziglar, famous Author and salesman.

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