Why do so many startups fail within the first two years?

1.8k views5 Comments

CEO & Founder in Software, 11 - 50 employees
Ideas are a dime a dozen and that's why a lot of startups fail within the first two years: they cannot get past the ideation phase to execute and test the market. I listen to at least two pitches from founders every week and I see how persistent they are. Are they going to follow up? Or will they just pitch and then they're gone without ever following up?

There's a lot of innovation happening, but it's all what I call ephemeral innovation. A lot of these ideas die out because they cannot get past the pre-seed stage, or even making a prototype and testing the market. The startup market is flaky but that's how innovation happens. The cream rises to the top and if you are lucky enough to get the support of investors and the market, you can build something more permanent than a one year deal.
Managing Director in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
It's all about execution and a lot of startups get into this valuation trap. They’re looking to leverage and create the valuation incentive but they're missing the boat, which is solving a customer problem. If you can solve a significant customer problem, word spreads and that customer becomes your credibility and differentiation, which will pull all kinds of funding and valuation to support your initiatives.

In my experience, we did a good job of executing but we ran into a couple of brick walls that we could not anticipate. There are a lot of things I would've done differently, and we continue to look for those things. But the one thing that I will always do to create sustainability in a startup is to look for the customer and focus on solving their problem.
1 2 Replies
CEO in Manufacturing, 11 - 50 employees

It's like all sins of the past are forgiven when you start solving customer problems and landing deals. Then everybody sees you differently and says, "Look at that traction, that’s great. Here's some more money."

Managing Director in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

Exactly Dean!  actual (vs. potential) customers / clients are the best proof of valuation...

CTO of IT in Software, 51 - 200 employees
Lack of new and unique idea,

Content you might like

Senior Director, Technology Solutions and Analytics in Telecommunication, 51 - 200 employees
Palantir Foundry
Read More Comments
6.1k views15 Upvotes48 Comments


Yes, but not enough, we want/need to ramp up39%


No, but I expect this will change soon6%


1.7k views1 Upvote1 Comment

We provide company-wide training57%

We only train certain departments/roles32%

We have a targeted individual training approach.9%

I am unsure how we handle security training.3%