How to fail your startup?

A client once approached me for building an app. His budget was just sufficient. His idea was unique and had good potential.

I honestly told him that all you have is an idea, its great, but all you have is just an idea; You have not done any research and you are bound to fail if you execute this without research. I told him to do a market research first, ask some potential customers etc. He was happy to conduct a research and I helped him a bit in it too as pro-bono.

6 months later he came back with a market research and was ready to build it. Based on his additional scope from the market research, there was a bit too much work and it would have taken a bit longer. I told him clearly to find the extra budget and time, but he was really impatient. He just assumed the budget would be fixed regardless of the extended features. And so he approached another dev team to build it.

12 months later he came back to me again to take over the app as he was frustrated with the other team as they released a very poor quality app. The team was cheap but also novice. They promised everything in the start, but had cut corners everywhere. After analyzing the code, I said we cannot take it up as the code base was really bad and besides the whole architecture itself was wrong. He was not surprised as he expected this. He decided to somehow continue more development hoping to salvage and get some more users onboard.

Another 6 months later, he lost all his enthusiasm and money to build his startup! He tried to approach some investors, but since the app wasn’t great, the deals didn’t really work out.

Perhaps, he will never build an app again..!

What were the mistakes/things to learn ?

1. Being Impatient. Good things need careful attention to detail and time. Never rush things just because you’re personally impatient.

2. Not trusting your partners: Choosing the right technology and right team to build your startup is very important, its not always about money but mostly about trust in the long run. Most companies these days accept project and never continue on updates.

3. Have some faith in yourself. Do not give up so easily. There are ups and downs in any project. Keep building !

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