Why many startups fail

“Having a great product is not the only thing that ultimately makes a company successful.” This is one of the statements the people behind Everpix made as they were involuntarily shutting down one of the world’s best solutions for managing a large library of photos.

If you have time, please read this article by The Verge on the shutdown of Everpix. If not, here’s the main takeaway: the biggest problem with product-oriented entrepreneurs is that they often have only one tool in their toolbox: making a product. That’s both praiseworthy and perilous — as in existence threatening. But don’t take my word for it, just look at what the people behind Everpix said on the topic. (Go ahead, re-read the first sentence of this story.)

Even before the product starts working, the company has to invest time, money, and energy into marketing, which requires a different set of skills. Consider Apple: the lesson a lot of people suggest you take from Apple is that you should focus only on product. But that’s only half the story, at best.  When you zoom into Apple, you notice that the company’s heavily focused on marketing.

Lastly, I want to wish the Everpix team good luck. They designed something beautiful and world-class that thousands of people around the globe enjoyed. That’s very, very hard. Divorcing a business idea can be an extremely difficult and emotional thing to do in the short-run. But in the long-run, divorcing a business idea can be just an event in the life of an entrepreneur — it does not need to define it.

Nov 6, 2013