…only to die way sooner than it expects.
And may you not trust me on this. Pick 5–10 failed startups from the recent past, and look for patterns yourself. Alternatively, take those Unicorn companies and write top 3 to 5 unique qualities in each of those that the founders or news articles claim to have been their beginnings (You can take for granted that doing the opposite of these in your early stages is counter-productive). Compare your list to what I have mentioned in this post, to cry “Eureka!”.
The checklist of counter-productivity for a startup
- Look for pedigree certifications in hiring.
- Build hierarchy chart right from the very beginning
- Burn your money on things like office-spaces, and other high-end infrastructure
- Assume developers only business is to translate business requirements to code and not question it
- Hire architects and managers who don’t code
- Hire B-School grads as Product Managers, safely assuming they know your business
- Hire HR-Managers from top MNCs for hiring (human) resources
- Ignore good engineering and product management practices in the name of staying Lean
- Organically build one-way, the top-down communication culture
- Hate spending money on training, infrastructure and tools that support software development
Let us get this right — MNCs have deep pockets to hide, cover-up and survive their mistakes. And the whole point of a start-up is to be innovative in not just the idea, but throughout its execution.
Let us not fool ourselves to imitate the shine of an MNC, rather work towards improving the intrinsic value of what we are worth.
And truth be said — there sure are startups that has hit pomp and fair, celebrating investments from the who-is-who of the investment world in spite of inheriting some of the above mentioned points.
I see two reasons for it:
- Networking strength of the founder(s).
- Luck (The founder’s secret sauce that you and I haven’t seen).
Please do not hesitate to share your valuable opinion that is based on your experience, as comments to this post. I enjoy conversations that enrich my knowledge and experience.
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