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.
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!
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！