Today I will share what I believe are the top indicators of a startup chance of success for very early stage companies. Some folks may disagree with this breakdown, and there are of course cases that prove otherwise. That’s cool. This is from my own experience. I specifically want to focus on the top variables that are in an entrepreneur’s control in Stage 1 and Stage 2 of a startup.
Here’s the high level breakdown:
- 20% of startup success is your Idea
- 30% of startup success is You
- 50% of startup success your Team
20% Your Idea – Painkiller Index
- Is your target market big enough, do you know it well enough, are they ready for your solution or do you have to convince them that their pain hurts so you can sell the pain killer?
- Your execution – Is your solution is clunky, have too much friction to use or acquire? Can you create an easy to use solution that buyers need, and can you deliver to the level they expect?
- Your Timing – believe it or not, timing is a discussion in the idea of startups. I don’t mean trying to time the market in the traditional way the term is used (often associated with the stock market and is something that is next to impossible to do)… instead, as far as a painkiller goes. I may have a pain of needing a more efficient route algorithm, or colder cocktails to enjoy in my driverless car, but the timing of these painkillers isn’t right.
- Focus – Is the idea small enough that you can accomplish it as a startup, with the world against you?
- Your intentional life balance – Starting a company is brutal. If you aren’t geared up to handle it in your life, things can go sideways quickly. Are you healthy? Are you intentional about where your time goes? Do you have a bigger picture view of the world, spiritual or otherwise? Are you giving back to those around you in order to better learn? Do you have your priorities and your s**t together?
- Your confidence – Confidence is often the biggest difference between a kickass entrepreneur and one who is mediocre and spinning his wheels. Finding the thin line between extremely confident and overly arrogant is a tricky challenge, but one that can make or break you.
- Your discipline – Back to the intentionality: can you hold the line? Can you keep going even when you’re exhausted?
- Your abilities – Do you have the knowledge and experience in your market?
50% Your Team
- YES, I propose that the team you assemble is the largest variable in your control over your chance of success. So this means if you score low and put the wrong team in place, your odds of success are painfully slim. This is the top takeaway, I hope you’ll see from this post. The team is the biggest chance you have for success. It doesn’t just mean the co-founders, it means everyone around you. Your Investors, Directors, Advisors, Employees, Managers, even Vendors. Get the first two right, but even if you screw up a little on the Idea or Yourself, having an amazing team can carry you through these.