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What defines successful startups?

Updated on September 14, 2018

In today’s ever changing world, we have more startups and entrepreneurs than ever before. Building a startup culture has never been more encouraged than it is today. Every day, people are leaving traditional workplaces to pursue their startup dreams.

Unfortunately, the majority of startups fail. With 9 out of 10 startups failing to succeed, how can you ensure that you will not go out of business?

Launching your own startup is like setting off on a journey into the unknown. You need to be prepared for multiple challenges, as it is an unpredictable adventure.

As a startupper, you should not be afraid to take risks. You will find yourself dealing with different stages...facing the unexpected, building a true team, and overcoming numerous obstacles to help your business get ahead and find success.

To survive and win, you should pay close attention to some key qualities that all successful startups share. Here are 5 important clues.

Blindly assuming you know what your customers want could be a fatal mistake. It’s vital to pinpoint exactly what problem your solution will solve. Have your competitors done similar stuff and failed? It’s a perfect opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

It may seem rather obvious, but many startups can’t define their product-market fit. It’s important to keep the customer in mind with every decision you make. Doing some kind of research is a must, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can search forums and ask questions on social media. This allows you to discover new trends and connect with your intended audience.

Successful startups always adapt to changes. They know that a product concept should be adjusted as the project evolves and continuously test assumptions and change course if required.

Any successful startup is built on a disruptive idea. Disruption is more than a buzzword. You should truly offer a fresher perspective that will challenge the established way of looking at a specific industry.

Don’t worry if your hypotheses seems completely impossible. Disproving industry clichés will help you discover something that is missing on the market.

Thus, the driving factor of a successful startup is not just earning as much money as possible, it’s reinventing the target market. It's passion that will carry you forward.

It’s important to introduce your company culture straight away. Creating a strong culture ultimately begins with clarifying a set of beliefs shared by all coworkers, and then promoting these values in everything from office policies to work environment. This will unite the team and help all employees adapt to the challenging startup atmosphere.

More importantly, surround yourself with the right people. Your fellow co-workers should share your vision and enrich your startup.

Also, introducing your culture beforehand makes it easier for potential candidates to decide if they fit into your company.

Once you know your product-market fit and what the market values most, facilitate a conversation around these values. Think not only of your product and its fast development, but work toward building a community.

Engaging your target markets is now much easier than before. You can find supporters on social media, online forums, and messaging apps. Then you can build a community around them. Don’t forget to allow your audience to participate as clients are half the success.

Remember that launching a startup is more than just a 40 hour work week. You should fit your life around work and be dedicated to it.

If your heart isn’t really in it, the temptation to quit will be high. If you love what you do, you’ll have much more motivation to keep moving forward.


When starting from the ground up, especially with a small team, it may be difficult to proceed on a startup journey. But don’t give up. Sometimes startups don’t fail - the people behind them just stop working.

If you are looking for the “secret rule” of successful startups, keep in mind that there are no universal formulas or solutions. Just follow the simple rules outlined above and find something that works for you. Once you determine what your idea is, turn it into a concrete goal and strive to achieve it.

Don’t lose the sense of adventure, believe in your abilities, and you will find success.


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