Six ways to avoid Startup Infanticide

Damn! This was one of my startup ideas! Have you ever said this to yourself? Have you ever had an Idea and then discarded it within few seconds without realizing their full potential? If yes then don’t worry, you are not the only one. I have heard people saying – I had the same startup idea two years ago in my dorm room in college. There are a dozen successful companies that are working on these ideas that were born and immediately discarded in many dorm rooms. The fact that not even a tiny percentage of that money is reflected in your bank account affirms the fact that ideas not followed up with proper execution have zero value. Ideas in their initial stage are like infants, in that they are unable to stand up and walk on their own. They need to be nurtured with patience. They have to evolve with time in order to take off. If you patiently evolve your product and idea, you might have a shot at success. Here is how to cope when the going gets tough:

  • Try not to give up: You might want to give up when things don’t turn up the way you want to. But do not give up because of the problems; they are a part and parcel of every startup. You should only consider giving up if you have lost all faith in the startup’s vision.
  • Do not run after a different idea: When your original idea is giving you problems in execution, your interest will suddenly waver to more attractive ideas for you to go after. And it will seem to you that your new ideas won’t have problems that you are facing with the current one. Which is not so, hence it is better off pursuing your current idea where you know the underlying problems rather than pursuing a new one where you have no idea what problems may crop up.
  • Be open to making minor modifications to your existing idea: While you should not go into a completely different direction, you should be open to making minor changes in your idea or business model as you iterate and get customer feedback.
  • Don’t be tempted to raise money to solve your problems: When you are not making money from the market, you might be tempted to raise it from investors, and you might very well be successful in raising money despite your problems. But the investment also brings higher accountability and pressure.
  • Don’t be tempted to spend money to solve your problems: Some problems cannot be solved by throwing money at them. You can get users through ads but they will leave soon if your product is not good enough, you can’t nail traction without nailing your product first. Hiring more people than absolutely required will shorten your runway and add inefficiencies in the team.
  • Be easy on yourself and give yourself some time: This phase can be one of the most frustrating ones in a startup. You will not get solutions on demand. You have to give yourself time to experiment different things and find out what works.

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