Interesting question was asked of me recently.

Why most startups FAIL?

My answer:

1. No clear goals. Most people set goals that they don’t even want. Some set goals following others. Not everyone wants to be a businessman or a doctor or a lawyer. You got to listen to your own heart and set goals accordingly

2. No behavior change (thoughts, words and actions) towards achieving the goals. As such old habitual patterns continue to persist. Understanding how the mind works, especially the subconscious mind is of paramount importance to achieve goals holistically

3. No proper environment with like minded people. You “become” your environment. As such, choose the people you spend most of your time with wisely and in accordance to your goals

4. The smarter you think you are, the longer it will take. Ivy league education ain’t gonna ensure your startup is going to be a success. Chances are it may turn out to be a hindrance

5. You are an idiot if you think starting and running a startup requires less amount of work compared to a normal paying job. Be prepared to work your ass off for as long as you need to achieve your goal

6. Reading too many motivational books and attending too many seminars than actually working on goals. Seminar junkies

7. Not prepared to fail many many many many many (* a gazillion times) before achieving success. Okay la, I am exaggerating here. Maybe at least a couple of dozen times

8. Giving entrepreneurial talk and advising people how to have a successful startup before even starting to make some decent profit with your own startup

9. Borrowing money unnecessarily and depending on grants. Most of the time you need very little money to start a new business. Use the brains a bit. Come up with creative ideas to start your business that require less funds. Collaborate with others. Helps to reduce cost

10. Inability to change and adapt according to changing times. Change is the law of life. Without change there is no progress. Without progress you will be left behind by the world

11. Celebrating when you get your startup funding or scale up funding. Nincompoops. That is the most idiotic reason to celebrate. You celebrate when you start making actual profits

12. Valuing your company sky high but actually don’t have any revenues yet or just showing projected revenues. There are a number of companies that are talked about now who are valued at billions but losing hundreds of millions each year. They cash out by going for listing. There will always be the people (public) eventually carrying the baby while the “valuers” laugh to the bank

13. Not investing wisely the profits earned. I have seen many invest their profits in dubious schemes that promises 200% or even 300% returns in super short time. Idiots. Giving away their hard earned money to con artists masquerading as financial advisors. The first place to reinvest is your own business. Reinvest to improve staff, equipment and reward your staff well. Keep improving to get better at your game. With the balance cash get a GENUINE financial advisor with many years of proven track record and experience to advice you on long term stable investments

14. Not grooming successors early. Most owners I have come across run their company like they are going to live forever. I just shake my head. Totally hopeless

15. Inability to be honest with yourself and take responsibility when things go wrong. Only by being honest with yourself and taking responsibility u can seek the necessary advice and get back to the path to achieve your goals. Be forewarned, there will be plenty of humble pies to eat in this journey of yours

– Elango Thiyagu
ET Ideas (Business Incubator)



  1. Mary says:

    Complete my half day event by listening to our mentor talk on why start up fail.I do realise where is my mistake or lacking for me to grow.Gain a lot of interesting message…I must CHANGE 1ST ….Hope to get ur support n guide too from u.

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