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Timing Is Everything?

Are you too early, early, or too late?

Startup Success Factors

  1.   42% Timing.
  2.   32% Team/Execution (efficiency/effectiveness, adaptability).
  3.   28% Idea ‘Truth’ Outlier (novelty/differentiation, ‘truth’ no one sees, competitive moats).
  4.   24% Business Model (clear path to generating customer revenue).
  5.   14% Funding (raising money for initial funding, follow-on, and growth).
Source: Bill Gross (Idealab)

Failure Factors

Startups can change the world, and make the world a better place. However, to survive long enough to achieve those goals, requires great execution. The idea also matters a lot but timing might matter even more.

The best way to really assess timing is to carefully look at whether users are ready for what you have to offer them. Remember when doing this, be really honest, and not in denial about any results that you observe.

You may have an idea that you love, and you may want to push that idea forward however; you have to be very, very honest about the viability of the idea (after analyzing users).

Why Startups Fail

Success (4:30)

Bill Gross (Idealab)

You may be ridiculed for having a great idea ahead of its time.

NOTE: video starts & stops at pre-assigned times

Smart Questions

Every startup founder should ask potential/existing customers.

  1. How did you hear about our product/service?… Customer Acquisition Mechanism (determines consistency with company’s perceptions).
  2. What process did you use to pick this product over the competition?… Sales Process (defines stakeholders, decision makers, and sales cycle).
  3. Why did you choose this product/service?… Product/Service Differentiation (identifies customer segments, and different needs).
  4. Who uses the product/service, and how has that changed over time?… Key Users (determines churn rate, and growth).
  5. How important is this product/service?… Top 5 Issues (highlights hair-on-fire problem that impacts sales cycle, and customer promotion opportunities).
  6. How much did/would you pay?… Price (indicates return on investment, and brand/price fit).
  7. How quickly is the product/service evolving?… Churn Risk (indicates satisfaction, customer/firm relationship, support, overselling, and sales tactics).
  8. Would you recommend this product, and to whom?… Market Size & Potential (shows who the product/service serves, and potential customer breadth).


Ask Questions Now!

Go out and talk to a few likely/potential customers. Pick a few of the most relevant questions to ask them (see list above or add new questions). This process will help you to further refine the idea.

PS: Don’t forget to make detailed notes of interviews!

Snap Quiz

Completing quiz helps enhance your learning!

80% Pass Rate required

Course Curated By: Dr. G. Danford

TO CONTINUE: ⇒ Go To Menu and Select Ideation