Entrepreneurs: 10 Mistakes, 5 Lessons And 3 Methods To Learn Wisdom

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend of mine who is a high level executive of a global technology firm’s Middle East Region headquarters in Istanbul.  He complained to me that he had spent his entire weekend attending a startup marathon, trying to see if there were any promising teams with decent business plans.  He was upset that of the many teams that attended the event, only a handful had ideas that could be worth something.  Even those few would most likely not be successful or get any funding, because when the problems with their business plans were pointed out, they either became very defensive, reacting strongly to any recommendation or comment, or very passive aggressive, not arguing, but not really listening to suggestions, either.  For all his effort over the weekend, my friend came up empty handed, and was frustrated, mostly due to the attitude of the would-be-entrepreneurs.

Martin Zwilling’s article, 10 Top Reasons Why First-Time Entrepreneurs Fail, from the Entrepreneur Magazine, reminded me of my friend and his weekend. As the title suggests, Zwilling lists top ten mistakes made by entrepreneurs during their first couple of ventures.  Most of these mistakes are due to inexperience, are quite common, and would probably not be repeated after the first time.  Entrepreneurs, Zwilling suggests, should learn from other people’s mistakes rather live through them personally.  Sage advice, very similar to a favorite Confucius quote of mine:

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is bitterest.”

The ten mistakes are very well explained in the article.  Here they are, plus my translations into investorese. Unfortunately,  they all lead to the same outcome:

  • No written plan
    =
    poor planning = execution risk = low profits = bad investment
  • Slim or no revenue model
    = no revenue = no profits = bad investment
  • Limited business opportunities
    = no revenue = no profits = bad investment
  • Can’t execute
    = execution risk = low profits = bad investment
  • Too much competition
    = not enough revenue = low profits = bad investment
  • No intellectual property
    = easily replicated = too much competition = not enough revenue = low profits = bad investment
  • An inexperienced team
    = cannot execute = execution risk = low profits = bad investment
  • Underestimating resource requirements
    = poor planning = execution risk = low profits = bad investment
  • Not enough marketing
    = no revenue = no profits = bad investment
  • Giving in too early
    =
    execution risk = low profits = bad investment

All that is a lot for an entrepreneur to watch out for. Luckily, Brin McCagg, co-Founder, President and COO of OneWire, in his VentureBeat article, boils it down to Five Lessons Experienced Entrepreneurs Have Learned, for the would-be-entrepreneurs like the ones my executive friend has encountered.  If they listen, learn, and internalize, they could avoid most of the ten mistakes:

  • Follow-through is essential.

“Prove your ability to execute in both the short and long term, conduct comprehensive market-research and don’t give up when economic outlook appears grim.”

  • Build an enthusiastic and passionate team.

“Build and inspire a core team that fiercely believes in your vision and has the commitment to persevere through market crises and the ups and downs of a startup.”

  • Balance is critical.

“Raise sufficient capital and allocate the appropriate resources to expand your business. Seek to achieve the right balance; don’t be afraid to adjust your business plan depending on market conditions.”

  • It pays to think like an investor.

“While you undoubtedly need a brilliant idea that addresses a market need to spark interest, investors also gauge their faith in the executive team.”

  • Listen and learn.

“Entrepreneurs often focus on communicating, convincing and selling. But investors can be more than financial-backers; they can also act as advisors who speak from their personal experience, failures and successes.”

2 Yorum

Filed under Posts In ENGLISH

2 responses to “Entrepreneurs: 10 Mistakes, 5 Lessons And 3 Methods To Learn Wisdom

  1. As an entrepreneur, we have to invest it all – our time, money, energy – to have a chance at success. I’ve found that those who refuse to fully invest themselves have an even harder time convincing anyone else that it’s a good investment. I really enjoyed this post!

  2. Geri bildirim: Do Not Let Your Startup Die | AllianceOptima Blog

Yorum Yapın / Make A Comment

Aşağıya bilgilerinizi girin veya oturum açmak için bir simgeye tıklayın:

WordPress.com Logosu

WordPress.com hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Twitter resmi

Twitter hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Facebook fotoğrafı

Facebook hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Google+ fotoğrafı

Google+ hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Connecting to %s