Why Startups Fail

The rise and fall of startups in the contemporary age of innovation leads to trends that can be used to extract invaluable information. Many entrepreneurs still, however, premise their whole company on close-to-zero research. What are some of the factors of failure that entrepreneurs can look out for?

The wave of culturalism.

The new wave of culturalism that is bred within the workspaces, for example, focuses more on forced freedom and independence that leads to unaccountability and hindered productivity than it does to the company’s growth and prosperity.

Workspaces are designed in ways that can make the employees feel like they’re at home. This,  to a very significant degree, can prove to be effective. But startup culture, in its cliche and stereotypical sense, has affected the very purpose of creating these companies in the first place.

This is due to entrepreneurs making the same mistakes others did and pursuing the “wants” more than the “needs” of a successful company. Remember, “wants” only comes after a company is successful to an appreciable extent.

If you’re an entrepreneur, making your office a “fun” place to be in shouldn’t be amongst your top priorities. Spending too much money on things that can be done away with is an important factor that leads to the plummeting of a potentially successful startup.

The blurred startup culture.

Startup culture has also blurred the lines between different tiers of authority. In fact, the entire hierarchy system has become flattened and team members no longer find themselves under the supervision of a more powerful figure.


I remember feeling a certain way about being answerable to a higher authority back when I was in high school. It had made me resent the hierarchy system but having done some research, it came to my realization that I wasn’t the only person who felt this way.

Turns out, this is how most tech startups work. Having some independence and not being tethered to a title can be liberating in so many ways which can allow you to perform much better. But when undertaking major projects, there needs to be a captain to steer the ship. Someone who can take control without imposing fear into the minds of the crew members.

Finding this perfect balance without completely dismissing the traditional structure of hierarchy should be strived for when establishing your company’s culture. Employees should always be encouraged to pass constructive criticism around to improve the quality of work and to revive the spirit of the company and its vision.


Employees must learn to respect deadlines. It is imperative that deadlines are met in the real world. Having a flexible working schedule should not give anyone an excuse to fumble with the deadline.

Energy from workers.

Companies love enthusiasm from workers. But having a profuse amount of enthusiasm shouldn’t qualify someone to take up a role in your company. I’ve already written in greater detail about the best practices of hiring, before, but in short, one must look for a candidate with a passion for the role they’re applying for.

This passion must be proved by their portfolio. Not solely their charisma.  Charisma and enthusiasm are temporary unless they’ve proven to stick to it by constantly taking up different projects.

The team.

When forming a team, make sure you experiment a little. What most entrepreneurs do which caps a team’s potential is not having enough diversity in it. Employees feel the need to play safe by sticking with what works as opposed to looking for ways to increase output if that means potentially putting oneself in harm’s way.

But entrepreneurs eat uncertainty for breakfast. Finding breakthroughs and innovating is what the lifestyle entails. Try blending a team with different genders, nationalities, educational backgrounds, etc. Limiting a team based on a culture fit can be very harmful to the company. However, keep in mind that this must not be forced. Just remember to keep an open mind.

What’s your dream?

You should never let anyone, especially yourself, stop you from pursuing a dream. But pursuing a dream based on a fairy tale can lead you to believe that this world isn’t full of exciting opportunities. Always remember to do your research before you set out to do something risky. Do not take risks. Take calculated risks.

Jeremy Webb Blog | Startup Grind

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Jeremy Webb

Chief & Adventurer

Jeremy WebbWhy Startups Fail

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