February 12, 2016Startup strategies
3 min read

Building A Successful Early Stage Startup vs. Creating A Disaster

Startup Disaster vs. Successful Startup

Previously, we analyzed reasons why these four seemingly successful Web startups failed in 2015 . However, most tech startups don’t even get as far as they did, otherwise we wouldn’t even be talking about them. Reasons? Assumptions that prove wrong too late, when resources are exhausted and entrepreneur falls into despair failing to pivot.

Startup Disaster

You know how it happens. One day a disruptive tech startup idea is born in your head. It starts bugging you until you take the first step. You’re sure creating a startup like this is going to solve a problem many are affected by, but no one has ever thought of solving or tried to even articulate properly. Full of enthusiasm (but without proper tech background), you find a trustworthy looking company that develops Web and mobile apps (here's how you can find one) and reach out to them. You describe them your idea, all the amazing features you’re sure will make your startup a top-tier. If you’re lucky they grasp the idea, tackle your project with all seriousness and work their tails off. Finally, you receive the final product, exactly what you wanted (remember: if you’re lucky enough). Excited, you launch your startup expecting to celebrate incredible growth, and… nothing happens.

You’re trying to find out what went wrong while physically sensing the invisible tentacles of despair touching your back. At some point, you find out you should have targeted the needs of different audience. You get back to those guys who built your app or website asking them to do some changes. They name the price and you suddenly realize you don’t have the money.

Sounds like an entrepreneurial nightmare, doesn’t it? Fortunately, things don’t necessarily have to be this way. Combining Lean startup and Agile development principles can prevent the disaster, reduce the risks and secure you a successful start.

Successful Early Startup

How does it practically work? First, the Web or mobile developers you decided to trust building your app listen to you carefully. Then, they discuss your idea, do a tech research on it and write a document called discovery. With this document you receive all important information on technical implementation, as well as tech suggestions by the developers, and time and price estimates. Discovery document is all about a minimum viable product (MVP), a product with most important features only allowing you to find out if your assumptions are right or wrong.

As soon as the agreement is signed the engineers start building the first version of the MVP. All work is divided into iterations. After each of them you receive a working version of app or website ready to get tested. This means that you’re involved at a maximum level, and can start checking your assumptions very early, early enough to pivot if proves necessary. Also, while building you can decide on adding or abandoning this or that feature.

As a result, you don’t get what you initially wanted. Instead, you get what you need - a working product that brings you profit and fame. Of course, a tech startup's success doesn’t only depend on the way your website or mobile app is built. Marketing, fundraising and testing are all crucial. But just as a fat soil yields a good crop with due care, your new business has great chances to grow well when it’s given the proper ground.

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