Start-ups | Blogads


by henrycopeland
Wednesday, January 21st, 2004

Just stumbled across a summary of a study of 450 start-ups via a comment on Fred Wilson’s post. Some interesting insights:

* “Over-funding actually allows companies to follow a flawed strategy for too long.”

* Success is a “a trial and error process.”

* “In 93 percent of the cases, the strategy that a company emerges with (at exit) is completely different from the strategy it set out to implement. The report cites a Harvard Business School study that found it takes four to five years for the right product and business model to emerge.”

Everything I’ve seen of entrepreneurship suggests there’s a huge amount of trial and error involved. Just as in baseball, where 4 runs out of 5 are determined by luck rather than skill, it is usually impossible for the outside observer to see, in the short run, who really has talent.

Footnote: These timelines are uncannily applicable to our start-up’s experience. Pressflex was founded in 1998 to serve as the webmaster for local publishers. The business premises that underlie Blogads — ASP, single decision-maker, low (or no) price point, telesellable, networked, generating ROI, splicable into any platform, serving outsiders rather than insiders — jelled in late 2001 as we head-scratched about agonizingly slow publisher uptake of our superlative Pressflex service. The idea for Blogads pinged in March 2002 and the service launched in August ’02… almost exactly 4 years after we created Pressflex.

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