Is it true that doing a start-up is like betting a lotto?

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JASON LEMKIN

No.

I have co-founded three companies, and been an executive in two others. I’ve been through big ups and serious downs. I’m no startup genius — I’ve had some genuine success, but I’ve yet to build a unicorn myself. And almost all of them have almost failed.

But none of them failed.

There is a simple formula that dramatically increases your odds:

  • Do your homework. Make sure the product you plan to launch really has demand. Your homework won’t yield perfect answers, but at least do the work. More here: https://www.saastr.com/planning-to-do-a-saas-start-up-dont-forget-the-20-interview-rule/ And importantly, understand if the market you are entering is large enough. You can fail by entering too small of a market. Do the homework.
  • Recruit a strong AND committed team. Ideas are a dime a dozen. But if you have an amazing CTO, head of marketing + head of sales as cofounders … and they are committed for the long haul … you have a weapon few others do. And they have to be committed. No part timers. No moonlighters. And most importantly — no folks just willing to give it just 6 or 9 months. That never works. It’s too hard. https://www.saastr.com/a-simple-…
  • Get to The First 10 Paying Customers By Sheer Force of Will. Hustle. Knock on doors. Get amazing press. Lean on relationships. All of the above. Get 10 paying customers. If you can get 10, you can get 20. And then 40. And so on. More here: https://www.saastr.com/if-you-ha…
  • And Don’t Quit. 10 customers won’t be nearly enough. You may want to quit. Any rational person would. But if you’ve built a great team with enough commitment, you can push on. More here: https://www.saastr.com/if-youre-…

10 paying customers + great team + extreme commitment?

That does fail sometimes. But not that often.

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Published on November 13, 2017
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