Entrepreneurs who could not afford to fail. Tell us your story of how you made it happen?

Friends, relatives looking down on you waiting for your downfall. Losing money and not sure if your business is going to make it. Laughed at and discouraged. Co-founder going rogue.

And anything else you wanna add, I wanna hear your story of struggle and how you made it out.

Best Answer

If you fail and get on another startup your odds of success increase. I'll make sure to keep this in mind if I fail. //Most startups fail. But we never hear from them. A bad analogy, is that most people die, and we never hear from them. So u/SentinelSpirit mentioned selection bias - it is very true. People buys a disney movie ticket, they never want to know what happened after the prince and princess are married.

Startups fail for failing to cross three big mile markers;

MM1: get sales, getting a SINGLE BUYER. (not user)

MM2: get profit. Most people's startup ends up just becoming a job.

MM3: get growth. Most "successes" don't grow. A guy who opens a Amazon store by selling something he ODMed from China quickly find others are chewing on his turf. He can not abandon the ship, and he has to answer all the calls. And there is no money left to research a second product.

The "home runs" are far and between. But that is all what people know and promote on the news.

Other points

When I was going through college I had to pick between taking the bus to class or eating lunch that day. I took any and every job that came my way. The first job I ever got that payed more than a couple hundred dollars was to design a magazine for the university. They asked me how much it would cost and I told them $1,000. That was within their budget, and at the interview they asked me a bunch of questions regarding my experience. I exaggerated a bit but what I was really doing was extracting from their questions, exactly what I would need to learn that night to accomplish the task. I was confident that I could learn anything they needed me to do.

In the end I learned adobe indesign, and how to prepare a document for print, and was able to get the job done. I did it well enough that they hired me again for the second issue of the magazine.

One thing I hated was that apparently some businesses pay things a month late? like they pay you 30 days later? I had never heard of this before so I was down at the student union every day checking if my payment was ready. Eventually I got my payment though and I was extremely happy.

it was one of the most stressful work experiences i've had, but I grew a lot from forcing myself to accomplish the job.

Most people don't know, that first startups always fail. I have some great entrepreneurial friends and they are big time - the work for the top VC firms, serial startups sending companies to stock market - their first start 3 years, is always failure. People who can starve off the first failure are the truly promising. This is hardly mentioned but you know, books that says "startup is hard" will never sell a single copy. Everyone likes the get quick fast on my idea solopreneure formula better.

To "avoid a failure" is like a baseball playing not daring to hit - you will at best have a baserun. I hope this analogy sinks in. You don't get lucky. The world is fare - if you don't fail, you will always be in the denominator, not the numerator part of the equation.

Many people tell you "oh I got paid this much money" - I admire them, but they are just doing this as an alternative job. It is not starting a company. Many people get rich on a job, they never talk about it.

Choice. Hustle. Fail forward. Choice. Hustle, Win. The six steps of startup.

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u/tournaket

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Startup Lingos To The Point

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bold vs stupid

Bold is do the right thing that no one agrees and hard. Stupid is to do the wrong things that a few agrees and impossible.

business plan

business plan

A business plan has two parts, the aspiration and the traction. A business plan is about two parts: how the business runs, and how to start that business.

business plan

business plan and exit

The plan to reach the exit, including unknown uncertainties that will surely happen.

business model

business model

How to turn an interest into a money maker. How to attract people, how to stimulate people to pay, how to make profit, how to make relations, how to keep relations.

value proposition

value proposition

How much do I have to give my audience so they can pay me something in return? What do they value? what problem do they search for answers on your own? I want to solve that problem.

passion

passion

You may like your dream, but if you have to suffer tremendous set backs to realize your dream, would you give up?

passion

passion

You may like to startup, but you may not the business you startup

investment

due diligence

VC or investor check. Include standard items 1. Did you quit your job; 2. Did your cofounder quit his job; 3. is your sales validated.

leadership

leader

Protect and provide. And gets loved.

traction

traction

When you finally connect what you love to do to what a lot of people love to buy. When you can focus all you want and still have unlimited work and fun.

founder

founder and CEO

A founder is not a CEO, until the company is making money and profit enough to stay alive on its own.

chance

Serendipity

After you have a sale or a market hit, you ran into all kinds of accidental discoveries that you never knew exist.

sales

Marketing vs. sales

Marketing makes the first sale happen. The sales department work on the rest.

value

Largesse

A general or CEO or founder who is tolerant and generous. Someone who recognizes own mistakes. Someone with big heart for hiring people better than him.

brand

Brand

Brand means name recognition. A lot of people knows what your company does and what you stand for. Brand is result of long campaign of consistent value provision and media cultivation. Brand helps a company reduce marketing cost.

validation

Validation

Whether there are buyer willing to pay or not. For that to happen you must provide extreme value. The entire startup process would be based on guess before the validation. Validation happens in a market, not on the street.

value

Value

Value is what you give customers beyond the price you charge. Value is effective solution to a problem. The price your customer pays reflects whether the problem is big for them and whether your solution is uniquely effective. Value stems from quality and detailed work.

marketing

Marketing

Marketing means bring your product to the market and bring your message to your customer. Marketing is not salesmanship. Marketing is to penetrate the world of commerce through many barriers and existing networks.

invention

Widgety MVP

A "MVP" wanna-be that is still at the widget stage. Lacking ability to demonstrate effects, only projected effects.

lean

MVB

Minimally viable business, or MVC, minimally viable company. A company that scrapes by, full of guess and hope and no traction and sales. When you give your customers things for free they all take it. But they never pay and you can never rent a table at the market.

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MVP

Minimal viable product. A full artifact of a real product. Something that works ALL THE TIME. You can demonstrate the real effect on real people - not to sell hope. The MVP may not have certain non-essential bells and whistles, but it needs to have appeal value.

value

Customer is king

A business lives at the mercy of its customers. You provide your customers 10 dollars worth of value and they pay you 1 dollar, not knowing that your company only costs 99 cents to provide the item. The value is not the item - the value is what is attached to the item.

cash

Cash Flow Is King

A company needs to have daily activities to keep employees busy and engaged. Otherwise the good ones will leave.

mission

Company culture

Company culture is based on a company making money. Once your workers are paid, they need to have a mission and aspiration so they are not bored everyday and make trouble in the work place.

focus

Take a stand

Tell people what you stand for, clearly and loudly, and those who like you will come to your stand. Others will walk by and shake their heads.

bold

Bold

Veterans do things their way, because they know all the naysayers are just beginners and by-standers.

focus

Onlyness

When you find a full universe within a grain of sand, a life time of work to do by focusing on one thing. There is enough people behind you to support your living and cause.

success

Fame

People's reaction when they know you have done something they could never do And they know this is not accident because you have done it a number of times.

investment

Company valuation

A company valuation is cash investment divided by the percentage. As long as your story is good, the valuation will keep coming, and the investors will keeping falling into the line.

investment

Return on investment

Investors are either behind family fortune (never work with them) or for rich clients as investment vehicle. Both need returns 2-3 times better than stock market darlings.

investment

Due diligence

A thorough validation of everything you said.

solepreneur

solopreneur

Someone wanting to build a lean startup by projecting, offering, and test.

traction

traction

Having found what people want, not just what people may need. Your offering and their acceptance is sure, no longer a guess. You can provide it for profit, and you can indeed making living on it. Traction is sometimes called validation. You are no longer a theater. You have touched nature, and found cash vein.

passion

Passion

Natural love.

mission

mission

Things to make sure the founder will not fall into despair, boredom or get distracted during the long execution even in face of repeated setbacks.

value

Magic

Insanely high value/solution to price ratio

vision

Vision

Ability to walk long distance in the dark.

magic

Disruption

A complete shift of the supply chain and value provision.

disruption

Game changer

A new value provision that causes supply chain to move and customers getting more value for the same price.

mission

Mission

Mission is how to beat loneliness during startup, mission is why your employees get up in the morning.

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