Startup Killer #4: Leading by Comparison

If you ain’t first, you’re last. – Ricky Bobby One of the most dangerous things to any company, regardless of stage, is paying more attention to your competitors than your customers. When you lead by comparison, every TechCrunch article with a valuation number becomes a distraction, every minor feature release from another company tangential to […]

Startup Killer #3: Challenging Nothing

While indigestion is the most prevalent threat to early-stage startups, starvation is just as dangerous. The most talked about form of starvation is running out of money. But again, I think that’s most often a symptom more than a root cause. Instead of challenging everything within an industry, many startups challenge absolutely nothing within an […]

Startup Killer #2: Challenging Everything

Startups, almost by definition, emerge as a reaction to a perceived gap or problem within a given industry. They are often referred to as disruptors and this is by no accident. Either they challenge the way that things have been done prior, or they challenge the fact that something should not exist. Issues arise, however, […]

Startup Killer #1: Hype-Driven Everything

I think a natural side effect of being a leader is also being a voracious information consumer. Leaders are readers. We attend conferences, listen to countless podcasts, subscribe to tens (hundreds!) of blogs, and are constantly in conversations with other people we respect. We analyze trends in the industry, both the industries that our startups […]