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Why Do Web Startups Die? Lack of Alphalpha : Comments

By Dave Goldenberg

June 10, 2008


Nick Finck

June 11, 2008 1:11 AM

Well put Dave. As someone who has gone through this phase of setting up a business I can say that these are things we had to learn the hard way in some cases. I would recommend everyone who has a new or even relatively new company sit down an answer all six questions. Well done!

John Faulds

June 11, 2008 5:47 AM

Funniest web dev-related article I’ve read in ages! (But with some very good points. ;)

Gabe da Silveira

June 11, 2008 8:23 AM

Very good advice here. I’m involved in a startup now, and thankfully all these questions made common sense. We were founded with the answers to these questions baked in more or less.

But I do disagree about the tone of “making difficult decisions and sticking to them”. While I agree that the vision should be focused and strictly adhered to to create a cohesive product, I also think it’s just as important to be nimble and change directions with the product as soon as you realize where your premises were faulty.

Consider Flickr which started as a flash-based MMORPG. They saw that the photo sharing ability was the killer feature and completely changed their direction. Getting a vision right the first time is very very difficult. The advantage a startup has is agility to learn from mistakes and turn ship very quickly.


June 15, 2008 12:41 PM

Great article and great questions. Another example of uncommon common sense. Some people THINK they’ve answered these questions but when actually confronted with them, it’s met with confusion. But with these basic questions answered, a startup can really hit the ground running.


June 25, 2008 3:37 PM

Good points. It was a fun exercise asking these questions of our business. Fortunately, we answered most of these when we started. But it was good to remind ourselves to stick with them.

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