Lack of product focus. Your company needs to move in some direction, but that’s hard if every board member has a different opinion on the end goal says Paul Haarman. A too-eager embrace of change is just as bad; imagine how hard it would be for your users to learn new features every few months.
The best way to avoid this pitfall? Look inside your organization before you start trying to innovate explains Paul Haarman. Take some time to understand the goals, workflows, and business culture of your current users who are already paying you money. Use their insight to drive product development instead of getting distracted by something shiny or cool.
Failure to listen is one of the top reasons start-ups fail. It’s not enough to open your ears; you’ve got to recognize the voices that matter. The people who pay your bills may not be the same ones with all the great ideas, so make sure you’re listening closely to both groups before making any significant changes.
Failure to deliver on promises is also a route to failure. It’s natural to get excited about an idea or product and want other people to understand why it’s so great, but there are excellent and wrong ways of doing this. Unless you’re willing to pay for development costs yourself, don’t start trying to sell your product until it’s ready. You’re better off getting it out into the world slowly instead of holding back because you don’t think it’ll impress everyone at once.
Failing to learn from mistakes is one of the most dangerous mistakes. It’s natural to get obsessed with your product and its potential – but it’s not helping if you can’t stand back and look at it. If something isn’t working, put your energy into finding out why and how to fix it.
Failure to innovate comes in many guises. Sometimes it looks like a lack of willingness to change; other times, not listen closely enough or long enough to innovative ideas that come from outside sources. They’re already lacking in focus, so don’t let this problem creep up on you too! It may be challenging when there are several different opinions within your company on the right move, but making sure everyone knows they’re valued is crucial to staying well-focused.
Don’t let failure be your fate, even if it sounds like everyone else is doing the same thing. It’s easy to compare yourself with other start-ups and become discouraged because you feel like everyone else is winning – but all that does is hold you back. You’re taking a risk by deviating from the pack anyway, so don’t let fear of failure stop you before you’ve begun.
Failure to pivot can mean a game over for your start-up. Sometimes, what seems like an innovative idea turns out to be way less popular than expected. There are better ways for users to get what they need. Paul Haarman says to avoid this problem. Make sure your company invests in regular check-ups about how users are experiencing product changes.
Be careful not to pivot too much, though, or it might become difficult for users to find their way around! It can be bad for your product to never settle into what works because you’re constantly changing it up.
Paul Haarman says never give up on your start-up if failure is looming. Don’t make the mistake of thinking things are unfixable; they’re probably more fixable than you think! It’s all too easy when running a company to feel like everything’s falling apart. But that’s the best time to dig in and try harder instead of giving up. They’re at your lowest point now, so chances are you’ll only go higher from here. Please don’t
Listen carefully, develop based on existing user needs, commit fully before selling, embrace failure, learn from mistakes, innovate well, avoid unnecessary risk, check if pivoting is needed, and never give up.