Essential Truths of Startup Success

You live, you learn.  We all make mistakes, but our greatest ability as humans is to learn from those mistakes and adjust our course.

That’s how Gary Swart led himself to success. Even after his company, Intellibank, fell through, he used his experience to help make his next venture even more successful.

“From the mistakes we made, I learned what not to do — and from there, I’ve arrived at some essential truths that can lead to startup success,” said Swart.

What are those truths? Here’s a quick recap of Swart’s “7 Things I Learned From Startup Failure”:

  1. startupsuccessIt’s all about the market.  – Your company can’t be all things to all people; you must know your target market. And when you figure that out, you must ask: Is the market you’re targeting big enough to adopt your product and exponentially grow?
  2. Validate with your customers, not your investors. – Swart says, “Your customers matter more than your investors. And any good investor would agree.” Be knowledgeable about your customers and their needs.
  3. Focus, focus, focus. – Keep it simple, stupid. Your startup only needs to do one or two things exceptionally well. Don’t overdo your idea with too many bells and whistles.
  4. Aim to exceed expectations. – Don’t just meet your customers’ expectations, exceed them!
  5. Figure out streamlined metrics to measure your progress. – Never be over-measured and under-prioritized. Figure out what metrics matter most.
  6. Pivoting is okay… but it is not a business strategy. – Never lose the big picture of your company. Be agile, but not to the point of identity crisis.
  7. Ultimately, deliver a great experience. It’s what keeps people coming back.

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