There are statistics that highlight the alarming rate at which startups fail. Tech-based startups compete favorably for the top spots on this list. Failures of tech-based startups are not always considered fatal, however, because they tend to inspire better models in the near future that transform the world remarkably. This is why tech-based startups are often called failed technology products.
Some of the failed tech-based startups endure for a while before their demise while others die an embarrassing death.
Although there is never a guarantee that every startup will become a success, understanding the reason why promising new businesses fail will help you to avoid the pitfalls commonly associated with startup failures.
1. Uniqueness: many of the technology-based startups are replicas of a model that is already in the market without offering something new. As a result, this keeps them below their bigger and more importantly, established competitors.
2. Customer management: this is one area that is undermined by many new businesses and startups. Rather, the emphasis has always been on expanding their customer base.
3. Rigid: a list of failed tech-based startups would always show signs of rigidity. This is the inability of a startup to change in response to prevailing environmental circumstances.
4. Cash strapped: the amount of cash available to a startup has a lot to say about its success. According to a survey of startup founders, cash is second to a great idea but without it, even the best of ideas will not see the light of day.
A study by Harvard Business School’s Shikhar Ghosh has revealed that as many as 75% of startups backed by venture fail. The report further highlighted seven reasons why many startups fail, including lack of good mentorship, taking the wrong advice, and lack of focus -in addition to the ones discussed earlier. Five tech-based startups that have felt the pinch of failure are:
The smartwatch was the brainchild of Pebble, although Samsung and Apple have since pushed its popularity. As of 2012 when Pebble raised $10 million through Kickstarter, the smartwatch market was still very young with few customers. With the entrance of bigger technology giants, Pebble gave way in 2016 with an announcement that it would sell its assets and technology to Fitbit. To date, versions of Pebble’s early smartwatch ideas are still in the market.
Long before Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other popular social media were born, MySpace was the place to be. MySpace helped to popularize the concept of social media and formally put an end to the torture of communicating by penpal. Its demise was blamed on the bureaucratic morass after its parent company was purchased by NewsCorp.
It is hard to brand Palm Pilot because, in its first year, it sold a million units of its PDA. It is one of the first companies to fit digital devices into our pockets. The rescue of Apple by Microsoft and the eventual production of iPods and iPhones meant the Palm Pilot could no longer compete in the market. HP acquired Palm Pilot in 2010 but they failed to produce a handheld device that could sufficiently break into the market.
Napster holds the credit for popularizing peer-to-peer file sharing which hastened the drift to ethereal digital tunes from compact discs. The young founder, Shawn Fanning had the reputation of being pugnacious and had an influence on his descendants. The greatest strength of Napster, which was the unrestrained sharing of anything including copyrighted materials, was its eventual reason for failure.
Tripda came at the time when there was a rise in carpooling services. Perhaps for that reason its demise was almost certain. While Tripda had made a strong presence in 13 markets, including 6 in Asia, it still was not enough to keep it afloat at the time.
Tech-based startups cannot be regarded as a total failure even after their apparent lack of success because they tend to inspire a revolution which lives after them.
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