Strategies For Startup Success

I gave at talk this morning at Yankee Group. It was part of the SmartSpeaker series that CEO Emily Green has been organizing for a few months now. Many months ago, over breakfast, Emily asked me to give a talk on strategies for startup success. Foolishly, I agreed.

The trouble with the topic, as I’ve written before, is that there are very few strategies for startup success with a high batting average. And startups, unlike blackjack hands and day trades, take a good piece of an entrepreneur’s life. A strategy that is successful 55% of the time will work wonders on Wall Street and in Vegas but may cause an entrepreneur to repeatedly fail her entire life.

Hey, let’s not get gloomy. There is a silver lining. It’s called luck and timing combined with assembling a great team that continually performs quick & cheap experiments. Esther Dyson says: “always make new mistakes”. Make them quickly and cheaply, I’d like to add. 

I ended up giving three talks in one at Yankee today:

  • Strategies for Startup Success
  • Why Do Startups Succeed or Fail
  • The Startup Environment

The questions from the analyst team were excellent. I hope to continue the discussion here.

About Simeon Simeonov

Entrepreneur. Investor. Trusted advisor.
This entry was posted in startups, VC, Venture Capital, Web 2.0 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Strategies For Startup Success

  1. Excellent points.

    I think that too few startup founders appreciate that the optimal approach (at least for themselves) is running a series of experiments. I think of this a bit like the agile approach to software deveopment. More iterations (experiments) with shorter time periods generally yield better results. I think startups are the same way.

    Show me a startup that can make a high volume of small mistakes cheaper than others, and I’ll show you a startup that is more likely to succeed.

  2. robi says:

    Thanks for this. This is extremely timely for me and more or less matches where my thinking has been headed based on my experiences with a company over the last year.

  3. Rachel says:

    Thank you for this thought-provoking presentation. It reminds me of this video ( and it makes an interesting point.

    I think that people don’t always think these things through as they start their companies.

  4. Pingback: The Value of Startup Anti-Patterns | HighContrast

Leave a Reply