Why do so many startups fail?

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(中文版在下方!)

Failure: How it begins

Picture this: You’re an engineer in Taiwan, and you’ve got an idea for a startup. You get together with two friends (maybe a designer or business person, but more likely two more engineers), and you start building your product. You work under the radar for almost a year, rarely showing your work to others, afraid your idea will be stolen. Then, you pick a name, outsource a logo, create a Facebook fan page and invite your friends. Finally, you launch! And then? Nothing. Almost.

Your friends who liked your Facebook page downloaded the app, but after a few weeks, you’ve only got a couple hundred downloads, and your DAUs are near zero. What went wrong? You’ve just spent a year of your life on this product just to fail in the end -- was it all a waste of time?

Why do so many Taiwan startups fail?

The fact is that Taiwan is home to many great startups who are ready for the global stage. But in the past year, we’ve also met many founders who clearly didn’t do much research or create a business plan before they started building their products. Even worse, founders who have spent so much time building an unsuccessful product are often reluctant (or afraid) to pivot to a new idea or adjust their business model, stubbornly believing their product is AMAZING, and just needs better marketing.

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Many of these startups are founded by new entrepreneurs with no experience in business, marketing, or communications. Too eager to start making a product, they skipped many of the steps that could have raised their chances of success. These steps include:

  • Problem-solution fit (PSF) & product-market fit (PMF)
    The team didn’t make sure they were effectively solving a pain point for potential users, ending up with a product nobody wanted.
     
  • Competitive analysis
    The team jumped right in without looking carefully at existing competitors, missing some very good solutions from other countries, and building a product that looks the same as too many others.
     
  • Target audience
    Instead of targeting a specific segment of users, the team tried to build a product for everyone. While trying to please everybody, the team pleased nobody, and didn’t know how to effectively market the product.
     
  • Revenue model
    The startup either didn’t evaluate different revenue models or assumed too much about how successful their chosen revenue model would be. After launch, the startup then tried to charge for previously free products, ultimately pissing off their users!
     
  • Time & cost projections
    The team underestimated how long it would take and how much money it would cost to build the product, causing delays and making the founders desperate for investment. For hardware, the team may have even successfully run a crowdfunding campaign, but couldn’t deliver the product.

These are just some of the errors we keep seeing Taiwan startups make, and it makes us wish we had known these teams much earlier in order to provide the kind of guidance that’s hard to find in Taiwan.

So... how can TSS help my team avoid making these mistakes?

We’re glad you asked! If your team is currently still at a very early stage (beta or earlier, or perhaps only just launched recently), we highly recommend that you register for our free (yes, FREE!) 42 Beta Accelerator running April 13 to May 25 at Syntrend!

42 Beta Accelerator is 6 weeks of workshops, expert talks, and one-on-one mentoring designed to help new software and IOT startups launch the right product the right way. We’ve partnered Facebook, 500 Startups, ALPHA Camp, GIXIA, Happier Cafe, and more, and your team gets free co-working space during the program! Our mentors will work closely with your team to monitor progress and provide expert advice, all leading up to Towel Day, our demo day with investors and media.

All the details are right here on our website, and the deadline to apply is 3/23!

Not sure if you’re qualified? Have questions before you apply? Message us via Facebook or our contact form, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions!


【故事的開端】

想像一下:你是一個在台灣的工程師,而且你有個非常棒的創業想法,你跟兩位朋友(也許其中一個是個設計師或是企業家,但更可能是兩個工程師)在一起,終於!天時地利人和,連天公伯都贊成你開始著手執行你偉大的創業計畫!然後你隱瞞身邊的人,365天以來日以繼夜地努力燒肝,但是你很少跟他人分享你的偉大計劃,害怕自己絕世聰明的點子會被沒有創意的魯蛇抄襲。終於,你取了個名字、請外包廠商設計了一個超有質感的logo、創建一個臉書粉專、最後一步,邀請你四面八方的朋友們來按!讚!你的App終於正式上架了!在這個普天同慶舉國歡騰的時刻消逝之後...然後呢?應該沒有其他要做的事情了吧,幾乎沒有了

後來,有按你臉書讚的朋友下載了你的app,但是,很不幸地,幾個禮拜後,你的app只有幾百個下載次數,更慘的是,你的DAU接近零。發生什麼事情?你到底哪一步走錯了?你才剛花了整整一年寶貴的青春在這個app上面,但是你失敗了...難道,這一整年到頭來都只是一場空?

【什麼原因導致創業失敗?】

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台灣確實是一個適合將新創產品推向國際的舞台。但是在過去幾年,我們卻遇到許多創業家在開始製造他們自己的產品前,並沒有做足充分的研究,也跳過”思考“該如何做創業這件事。更不可思議的是,這些花了大把的時間製造那些不成功產品的創業家們,通常拒絕(甚至是害怕)為了讓產品的走向更好而做出改變,他們只認為自己的產品太棒了,所欠缺的應該就只是行銷罷了。

大多數的新創團隊都是創業界的新手,這些熱血的創業家在營運、行銷,或者是溝通上毫無經驗。因此太想要將腦袋中的產品創造出來,反而讓他們忽略掉通往成功的細節,這些細節包括:

  • 產品市場契合點
    創業者並不清楚他們是否有效地解決潛在客群的煩惱,還是只是製造出一個沒有人想要用的產品。

  • 競爭者分析
    創業者在付諸想法時,並沒有仔細地搜尋過市面上的競爭者,這可能會導致他們在某些市場上喪失競爭力,或者只是跳入一片紅海之中,毫無創新。

  • 目標客戶
    相較於鎖定特殊客群,創業者試圖創立一個適合所有人使用的產品。然而,當產品為了迎合每一個人的需求,反而喪失了真正的利基點,造成無法有效地行銷產品,傳達其吸引人之處。

  • 收入模型
    在推動產品前,創業者並沒有評估各種可能的營收來源,或者單一的假設一種收入來源。因此,當產品上線後,為了增加收入而向消費者改變原本承諾的免費服務,就是把自己逼到一個死胡同的行為。

  • 時間&成本預測
    有些團隊低估了完成產品的所需時間及成本,這不僅延遲了承諾的上市時間,也有可能需要大量的額外資金。對於硬體產業來說,團隊可能已經從募資平台取得大量的資金,但是卻無法如期交貨。

這些問題時常在台灣創業團隊上發生,也讓我們覺得如果可以早一點遇到這些團隊,提供給他們在創業初期這些寶貴的意見,確實能夠讓更多點子順利成長。

【說了這麼多,到底TSS是要怎樣幫我們拉!】

你終於開竅了!如果你的團隊目前處於創業初期(不管是構想階段、早鳥階段,或者是剛上市不久),就是最適合報名42 Beta Accelerator 的團隊了,42 Beta Accelerator 即將在4/13到5/25於三創園區開跑,整個計畫免費,沒錯!你沒看錯!就是免費!

42 Beta Accelerator 是一個為期六周的計劃,包含專家講座、針對軟體或IOT團隊量身打造的一對一咨詢顧問,幫助團隊健檢,目的是希望讓新創能夠用正確的方式實踐你們的想法。目前我們和Facebook, 500 Startups, ALPHA Camp, 奇想創造, Happier Cafe等合作,團隊在計劃期間也免費享有辦公空間。我們的業界導師們也會和團隊保持緊密地聯繫,確保團隊的運作及進度,一直持續到我們的Towel Day,也就是大家充分吸取能量精華後,把脫胎換骨後的一面展現給投資人以及媒體大眾們的時刻!

有關於計劃的詳細資訊都在TSS的網站上,報名截止日期為3/23!

有點不確定自己是否夠格報名這樣的計劃耶...在報名前我還想問...請別害羞的透過 Facebook 聯繫我們 ,或者是contact form,我們無所不答!