Why do so many startups fail?


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!

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!








  • 產品市場契合點

  • 競爭者分析

  • 目標客戶

  • 收入模型

  • 時間&成本預測



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