5 Ways Startups Fail: Avoiding Managerial Mistakes (Action-oriented Strategies)

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This article is a summary of a YouTube video "5 Ways Startups Die: Why Big Company Managers Fail (How to deprogram it)" by Garry Tan
TLDR Startups need to prioritize action, results, and problem-solving over excessive management and unnecessary risk in order to succeed.

Key insights

  • 😬
    Having too many managers and not enough doers can be detrimental to a company's success.
  • 💪
    In startups, there is no air cover or backup troops, so if your product or service sucks, your company dies. You have to actually make it on your own.
  • 🏎️
    "You can't win a race by committee." - Having too many layers of bureaucracy and decision-making can hinder progress and success in a startup or any organization.
  • 🔄
    "One of the biggest things a lot of companies do when they start building is they build data tools just for themselves from scratch over and over again not invented here syndrome usually just to figure out how one metric affects user behavior like conversion."
  • 💣
    "The space shuttle challenger actually exploded because of this slide...everything needed to prevent the challenger disaster was in this chart."
  • 🤔
    Founders often get confused and fail because they focus on saying the right buzzwords instead of understanding what truly makes their product valuable to customers.
  • 💡
    It's not enough to be attached to a name or rely on buzzwords; startups need to solve a problem and make sense.
  • 🌟
    The recurring theme for startup success is focusing on action and results, such as building a product, talking to customers, and achieving concrete numbers like user growth, customer savings, or revenue.

Q&A

  • What can be detrimental to a company's success?

    — Having too many managers and not enough doers can be detrimental to a company's success and can ultimately lead to its demise.

  • How much does corporate bureaucracy cost in productivity?

    — Corporate bureaucracy costs trillions of dollars in productivity.

  • Why do startups often fail?

    — Startups often fail because engineers and managers are incentivized to create their own versions of existing solutions instead of using what is already available.

  • What do startups need to do in order to succeed?

    — Startups need to accurately predict future trends and create products that improve the lives of specific customers in order to succeed.

  • What do startups require to succeed?

    — Startups require a change in culture and surroundings, avoiding common pitfalls such as focusing on activity over results, not embracing outside ideas, and taking credit for others' work, in order to succeed.

Timestamped Summary

  • 🚫
    00:00
    Having too many managers and not enough doers can be detrimental to a company's success and can ultimately lead to its demise.
  • 👉
    02:31
    Startups fail when managers from big corporations become disconnected from the act of creating and rely on the support and resources of a large company, leading to a lack of results and ultimately the death of the company.
  • 📌
    03:48
    Startups fail when engineers and managers prioritize job security and their own ideas over using existing solutions, hindering productivity.
  • 💡
    06:05
    People tend to value and prioritize their own solutions and ideas, so when selling to other companies, it's important to understand who the decision makers are and what they want in order to succeed.
  • 📝
    07:20
    Startups often waste time and resources by building their own data tools instead of using existing ones, but narrator.ai offers an optimal analyze button that provides concrete recommendations for understanding user behavior and improving conversion rates.
  • 💡
    08:41
    Startups can fail if they prioritize irrelevant information, develop a "cover your ass" culture, and lose focus on what actually matters.
  • 🔑
    10:14
    Avoid needless risk and find the right balance between accountability and risk-taking, while promoting a culture of giving credit to others for their work.
  • 🚀
    11:50
    Startups must accurately predict future trends, solve problems, and focus on action, results, building products, talking to customers, and concrete numbers in order to succeed.
Play video
This article is a summary of a YouTube video "5 Ways Startups Die: Why Big Company Managers Fail (How to deprogram it)" by Garry Tan
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