These Are the Biggest Reasons Startups Fail

July 21, 2016, 12:00 AM UTC
Target miss
Tens of arrows that have missed the target
Jumbo2010 — Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Leadership Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question to “What do you need to know before starting a business?” is written by Veenu Aishwarya, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of AUM LifeTech, Inc.

The late Steve Jobs always talked about the importance of passion in what you do in order to be successful. If you do not love what you do, you will give up because it gets really tough and becomes unbearable. You can only persevere when you love what you do. Starting a company is one of the most simple things anyone can do – it can be done in just a matter of hours – however running a successful company is a completely different story. You should not start a company because you feel like it, or because you have to, or because your friend has one. This is a recipe for a disaster. You should start a business only if you want to and if you want to make a positive impact in your local community, country or the world. This attitude typically defines the success or failure of a company.

You cannot become a multi billion-dollar company over night, or just in few months or years. Many times it takes more than that. Companies fail because entrepreneurs try to do things very fast and try to do so many things at the same time. By doing this, they loose sight of some of the fundamental things required to build a company. Eventually, they end up nowhere. The key here is proper execution and strategy.

At AUM LifeTech, I work on therapeutic development for genetic diseases. Running a young biotech company comes with its own set of challenges. In addition to the very high failure rate there is also a requirement of significant upfront capital just to do very basic proof-of-concept of the idea or a product. We need to be very careful in judging and analyzing an opportunity before we take it on. Thus, it becomes very important to learn not only from our own experiences, it is also very critical to learn from others’ experiences and especially failures. Bill Gates once said that “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” I take this as, there is no point in making the same mistakes that others have already made. Further, I will add that it becomes very critical to know the reason for those failures. Was it lack of passion? Was it a bad concept/product or team? Was it terrible financial planning? Was it a lousy execution? Or was it a very small problem that someone was trying to solve and nobody cared about it?

Answers to these key questions are crucial to the successes of a company. It doesn’t matter if it is an tech-related problem that involves making an app or a piece of software; or a local environmental problem where you solve California’s water crisis; or a global problem as to finding a cure for cancer. As long as you have a balanced amount of obsession, a fantastic diverse interdisciplinary team coupled with great execution of your ideas and a great problem to solve – you will be successful. Just as importantly, to add to this mix, you will also always need the three Ps – Passion, Patience and Perseverance.

Success may come sooner or as in most cases after a decent amount of time – and one should be prepared for both such instances. If you have checked all on this list and are still willing to go forward, then many congratulations and welcome to the other side and get started with your company.

And always remember – “He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right” – Confucius.