What are some qualities that every successful startup must have? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
That would be the first and most important thing. The startup will rise and fall on the strength of the founders. Note I say founders, not founder. One person, even the most talented, is huge risk in an industry where success rate is slim as it is. Founders need to cover (between them, not each) business sense, contacts, vision and creativity, in-depth technological knowledge – and experience in each field (though they don’t need to be VERY experienced at founding stage).
Founders that aren’t strong will also have difficulties getting the second most important thing for a startup:
This is the next most critical thing for a startup. Even if all you need to begin is a very small amount, you still need that amount. If you quit your day jobs you need a way to pay the bills. If you need employees – same thing. If you need to fly to conferences and meetings, if you need equipment, office, marketing budget – this all costs money. No money, no startup.
A good founding team with enough funding can basically plan and execute any product and do it well. But they will still need:
Product and Product Fit
This is the third element in importance (if I’m limited to 3…). You need to have a good product but it doesn’t need to be the most amazing or the most sophisticated thing ever. The most important thing about the product is how well it fits the market you’re targeting.
Does it answer a real need? People will even suffer a cumbersome UI (but will complain loudly…) if the product answers a need no other product does. Is it better than the competitors? Even in one small yet critical thing? Is it easier to access? easier to use? all my friends are already there?
As most internet startups are actually services and not products, it’s obvious why optimization is so important. Optimization is all about Product Fit. Whatever the initial product originally was.