According to Medium, approximately ninety percent of startups fail, even if everybody believes that will not happen to them. One of the biggest reasons for failure is making mistakes that could have been prevented. Many of us have our own biases that are difficult to let go and think with an open mind. We believe in myths because we hear them from friends or a jealous neighbour, and it affects our mindset. Many entrepreneurs also forget to put others first and think of solving problems rather than selling a product. You could have the most brilliant idea in the world with perfect features, but it still doesn’t guarantee that people will buy it. To build a successful startup, you must think about what makes it valuable for others. Here are some of the pitfalls you should avoid falling for.

Innovation Is All About Ideas

We have become so used to watching billionaires and other successful people delivering TedTalks and lecturing us on how we need to get our creative juices flowing. They always tell us that we can change the world too by using brainstorming techniques or meditating so that the next smartphone design can manifest in our heads. However, that is not how innovation happens. It’s not always about ideas and solutions, it’s mostly about a problem. According to Inc, Albert Einstein wanted to shine a lantern while traveling at light speed. It took him ten years to solve this problem with his theory of special relativity. To make an impact, you never start with an idea. Focus more on identifying a meaningful problem that needs to be solved. Revolutions begin with a cause, and rarely a slogan.

Lowering Costs Makes You More Competitive

Relentlessly cutting costs is not the way to succeed. It ends up becoming a race to the bottom where everybody loses. Instead of focusing on cost, it is essential to deliver value. It is cheaper to shop on Amazon, but that is not the only reason why people love the company. They deliver value in terms of superfast deliveries, excellent customer service, quick refunds, and exchanges, etc. That is what ultimately makes customers choose one company over the other.

Companies That Don’t Pay Attention Will Fail

This is one of the worst myths because nobody is successful from the get-go. Success is a learning experience through trial and error. Everybody needs to fail at least once to learn from their mistakes. Failure or success never boils down to one single event or decision. There are many that lead up to it. The best anyone can do is move forward and continue learning.

Growth Comes Before Profitability

There is no need to choose between one or the other. Both are necessary to move forward. Without profitability, an entrepreneur cannot pay the bills to grow anything. If a company does grow, those figures won’t mean much to investors if they can’t see any profits. It is a catch-22 situation when people say you need to grow first before making money. Every entrepreneur should realize that they can always achieve both.

You Should Always Have a Business Plan

That is what every university always teaches, but companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft became successful without any actual plans written down. If a startup is not seeking outside investors, they can brainstorm ideas and think about alternatives in real-time instead of holding meetings and writing everything down to guide them. Sometimes, plans can slow things down or only lead in one direction for too long. Entrepreneurs should be more flexible and ready for anything instead of always having a plan. Maybe have a plan, but be sure to adapt it as many times as it feels right.

Curious to know more? Join our Entrepreneurship capsule to go through the journey of a startup – Entrepreneurship 101

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Aayush Narang

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