Startups Need Tough Love to Succeed

“Most ideas suck,” said Ben Parr, columnist for CNET and founder of a stealth startup.

“There’s a reason why most startups fail. Usually it’s because of execution, but a lot of times it’s because they go for a bad idea in a bad market.”

Parr, who spoke with me at 2012’s TechCrunch Disrupt, wants to see more critics of startups be more critical. He says there’s too much coddling and lots of “just try harder” attitudes. Instead, they should be more direct. If you have a terrible idea with bad execution and design in a bad market, you should either change or quit.

“Some things are just destined not to succeed. It’s better for you to know that sooner than later,” says Parr, who believes this straightforward attitude would stop people from wasting time, money and energy on something that’s never destined to work.

Success is all about the market you’re tackling. How much you can make off of it and what you’re disrupting. “If you’re going after a market that has only a few thousand customers that will only spend a couple dollars, then that’s not a business, no matter how good your product is,” he intructs.

“You’re always tackling a problem,” says Parr. “If you’re not tackling a problem, you’re not a startup.”

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4 Responses to “Startups Need Tough Love to Succeed”

  1. Steve Tabler

    For what it’s worth, it seems that most of the interest these days is on phone APPs.

    Quoting from above: “If you’re going after a market that has only a few thousand customers that will only spend a couple dollars, then that’s not a business, no matter how good your product is”

    I’m not interested in phone APPs myself, but I understand that a great many of them can be purchased for just a couple dollars each, more or less, and some people have made that into a business.