Xin Wen

Why does your startup fail?

According to the article “A Minimum Viable Product Is Not a Product, It’s a Process,” in a post-mortem of more than 100 startups, CB Insights found that the No. 1 cause of startup failure (42% of the time) was “no market need.” In other words, they are too self-centered and think their needs fit everyone without any real experiments.

MVP, a minimum viable product, the proof of concept, gives every start-up a reliable and strong support to change and a good start. But it’s not done once and for ever. Though hundreds MVP, we can keep finding errors in our start-up process and even following works. Don’t think the error is a bad thing because failure is the mother of success. If we can find our disadvantages, we can perfect our product and make it perfect.

As for MVP, it’s an action. Startup creators or teams should make their product face to the customers. Only if they have used, they could give you a solid advice and format a database to run the whole system. It’s called Lean Startup approach. “The Lean Startup method teaches you how to drive a startup how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere-and grow a business with maximum acceleration.” (THE LEAN STARTUP METHODOLOGY) “Using the Lean Startup approach, companies can create order, not chaos by providing tools to test a vision continuously.”

In my opinion, IDEO.org and CauseLabs did an excellent job creating an app called Moneythink. They are mostly woking closely with high school students and encourage them to participate to track and share their financial behaviors in an unintimidating, peer-to-peer context. They are not successful at the first but put their product in front of students to find their lacks. For example, they found young people nowadays do not have regular sources of income, and they don’t set a monthly budget. In other words, their consumption patterns and consumption customs are entirely different with people in the past.

“As part of the project timeline, the IDEO.org team released live prototypes of the app in several Chicago high schools, using two different challenges to evaluate user engagement. “ (Moneythink Mobile) Their work helps them understand how to engage with students. “ Thought the classroom version of this exercise would have involved looking at photos and talking about etiquette, the app-enabled the experience to be interactive, personal, and fun.”

Overall, embrace ambiguity and build a bridge between your start-up and customers. Using MVP in a right way, every start-up could be a huge success.

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