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Startup Failure Rate and 80+ Other Startling Statistics About Startups

A great piece of research on startup statistics and trends:
Some highlights:

Startup Failure Rate Statistics

  • Incompetence, at 46%, is the most common reason why businesses fail, according to a Statistic Brain study.
  • The percentage of startups that fail after four years in the U.S. is over 50%.
    • CJ Note: see the details – so you can avoid the cliched, and incorrect meme: “90% of all startups fail”
  • 65% of entrepreneurs admit they were not fully confident they had enough money to start their business.
  • Of the startups surveyed, 58% started with less than $25,000 and one-third started with less than $5,000.
  • 71% of surveyed U.S. startups have successfully raised capital in 2018.
  • In 2019, 52% of U.S. startups expect their company’s next source of funding will be venture capital.
  • San Francisco and Silicon Valley account for 13.5% of global startup deals.

For more interesting facts and statistics about the startup landscape in 2019, check out SmallBizGenius’ comprehensive study and infographic.

Some highlights below:

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Understanding the Startup Valuation Process (Infographic)

(special thanks to … Redwood Valuation Partners)

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For entrepreneurs, securing venture capital is a grueling and frustrating process. Even if you have the most promising venture in history, the likelihood of being offered a term sheet is determined by a mysterious series of steps. Until now. Here’s your guide to what happens behind the scenes, when venture capitalists decide whether to invest:

(read it on Medium : The Secret VC Decision Process — Exposed)

 

 

I get bored and cynical every time I read a blog post from a first-time entrepreneur who has “discovered” the 7 amazing secrets to entrepreneurial success.  Usually their amazement is because they were so inexperienced in the first place, and some basic truths about business and entrepreneurship never occurred to them in the first place.  Much like how an 18 year-old living on their own for the first time is amazed to discover that ‘if you don’t pay your rent on time, the landlord will evict you.’ It’s an important lesson, but hardly an amazing secret that now qualifies them as an expert.

SFrustrated-PixleBayo many new entrepreneurs self-anoint themselves an expert because they’ve started out so clueless in the first place. Expertise is not measured in the difference between zero knowledge and what you have just learned – expertise is what you know more, or do better, than the majority – or better than other experts.

OK. End of that preemptive rant.

Now an exception.

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Icon of Money in the Hand on Digital Background.Let me start this post by stating how much respect I have for venture capitalist Fred Wilson.  He is easily in the top-5 influential thought leaders in the entrepreneur-investor ecosystem. His blog “AVC” is required reading for everyone on both sides of the table. But today he really pulled the trigger too quickly on a post.

He was postulating about a product idea – where entrepreneurs might pay for a report that lists what each venture capital firms’ investing criteria is, based on their track records  (something that arguably should be on their websites).  Let’s set aside for a moment that he is proposing a $100 fee for each entrepreneur seeking funding, here’s the crux of his argument:

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As an investor, advisor and mentor to entrepreneurs and new ventures, I get to hear a lot of pitches – whether as a judge in a competition, in a boardroom, classroom or a face-to-face pitch. After a while, they all start to sound alike. In fact, when investors get together, they lament (or even parody) how all the pitches sound alike. To be fair, as an entrepreneur, I used to lament with other entrepreneurs on how predictable venture capitalists can be in their responses.

Today, giving more evidence that I apparently have way too much time on my hands – I created this “Pitch Bingo” game for investors and advisors.   The next time you are listening to entrepreneur pitches at an event, click on the Entrepreneur-BS Bingo Game link, and you will get a BS-Bingo card (everyone’s card has a different random combination of entrepreneurship buzzwords).   Cross off the word when you hear it.

 

Entrepreneur-BS Bingo Game CJs Entrepreneur-BS-Bingo

CJ’s Entrepreneur Pitch Bingo

 

The first person who completes a BINGO with a row or column must shout out Zuckerberg!
And Tweet to #CJ-BS-BINGO.

And just to be fair, I’ve also created one called Investor-BS Bingo!   Now entrepreneurs can keep track of the predictable jargon investors mindlessly toss out during pitch meetings.   (notice the phrases “Term Sheet”  or “Yes” don’t appear – since they say it so rarely).

CJ’s Investor-BS Bingo

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An excellent overview of the kinds of funding available for entrepreneurs (startup funding). But this can be very misleading in a way: The “money available” and amounts invested absolutely do not reflect the likelihood of attracting funding from each source – nor do the amounts indicate how effective the funding source is towards the success of the startup.

Startup Funding Infographic