The Startup Dream

Successful tech companies created an overall illusion that it is really simple to have an idea and hit the market with a loud bang. Making people all around the globe thinking that it is easy to launch a new product and become an instant millionaire and an internet sensation.

90% of Startups fail

But did you know that approximately 9 out of 10 startups fail? This is the hard truth about starting your own company.

And why do companies fail? Most of the startups fail because entrepreneurs tend to be very optimistic about their ideas and products, leading them to make wrong assumptions about the market, and create products that no one really needs.

So, how should you start your own company?

Recently I have been invited to speak about my journey as an Entrepreneur in Portuguese Faculties, where I speak not only about how I started my own company alongside my cofounders but also how I empower other startups to start their own business, by helping them develop their digital products.

Nelson Novais speaking at Startup Buzz Event at FEP - Faculdade de Economia do Porto

In these talks, I always encourage young entrepreneurs to pursue their goals and dreams, as I did. However, crafting products and companies is not as simple as everyone thinks it is.

Create Something People Want

As stated most startups fail. So what should you do to avoid failing?

Startups that succeed are usually the ones that listen to the market before making the assumption that their product is the perfect fit. A careful look into failed companies and you can easily spot that there was a lack of interest or need for their product. Therefore you should be careful and not ignore key aspects of the business process if you want to increase your chances of succeeding.

Sure, but you can say even when you do extensive market research you will never be 100% sure that the market will understand or want your product. Fair enough but, you have ways to test your product before going all in and risking the limited startup runway.

Starting with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

In today's landscape, you will hear every time that you talk with an investor or someone who has the experience that you should build an MVP. Building an MVP has become the de facto process that allows startups to validate ideas, and prevent risking so much time and money.

Ok, but what is an MVP and why should you build one?

The MVP as the name state is the minimum effort to test if your target market will actually embrace your product. And by doing so, you will benefit from:

  • Focusing on solving your user's key problems
  • A quick way to test your assumptions, allowing you to save on time.
  • Reduced Costs - building a product with essential features is considerably cheaper than building a "monster" that no one wants.
  • Market Validation - you will understand whether your target audience really cares about your product.
  • Reduced Effort - saves you energy and inspiration in case you miss your target.
  • Waterfall models are outdated, the best way to build your product is to have your clients on the forefront, and follow of iterative process based on their feedback and not your sole assumptions.
  • Smoother crash - yes, it is very likely that you will not hit the golden goose right away, but at least you have the opportunity to learn and you still have energy and resources to move in the right direction.

Building a successful MVP relies, in part, on strategy & analysis. Nonetheless, your business vision will be the key determinant factor.

In this post I have explained why should you build an MVP, and in my next post will explain how to build one. Hope you enjoyed this article, stay tuned for more.

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