Thursday, October 19, 2006

Startup Mistakes - just for Startups?

Another list of startup mistakes, this one by Paul Graham. Although Paul has 18 items on his list, he sites a single mistake that trumps all others: not making something users want. Unfortunately I think this mistake is universal to all companies... the only difference being that if a startup makes it they do not have the resources to recover. Companies that make this mistake can absorb it or ignore it for a while, however it eventually catches up to them as well.

I think if large companies challenged themselves to look at these types of lists and put themselves back into a startup-style of thinking some very costly mistakes could be avoided. Some obviously don't apply, but other mistakes that he cites such as derivative ideas, Obstinacy, hiring bad programers, slowness in launching, and sacrificing users to support profits are very applicable. Others could be flipped around for larger companies to help avoid pitfalls. If a startup can fail from attempting to support a marginal niche, large companies can suffer from spreading themselves too thin, or having no solid vision.

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