Why You Should Quit Your Startup Today...

Give up now. Your idea is terrible. You're not remotely qualified to lead a startup.  No one would fund that.  Your mom doesn't even like that idea.  You're wasting your time. Isn't someone else already doing that?  

 

Still with me? Good.  If that's enough to make you have second thoughts about your startup, then you may not be cut out for working on a startup. It's not easy and it takes a certain kind of person.  In the end though, there are some very good reasons to quit your startup right away...

 

Why You Should Quit Your Startup Today...

1) You Don't Like Talking to People

Building something in a bubble will not work; customers don't find you, you have to find them. In the immortal words of Lean Startups, customers and they live outside the building. You have to go talk to them. And even if you did wait and you have the perfect idea everyone wants...you still have to go out after you finish the product so people know about it.  No startup sells itself...and investors don't exactly go door to door looking for startups either.  

 

Bottom line: If you're afraid to talk to people or plan to just build your idea without interacting with the outside world...you're making a huge mistake. Get out there!

 

2) You Like Nights and Weekends Off

Unless you're starting the simplest of lifestyle businesses, especially at the start, you will need to work nights and weekends.  This doesn't mean you have to work 24/7, but it does mean that startups are not 40 hour a week journeys, especially at the outset. Startups always have fewer resources and less manpower than they need and that means everyone is tasked with more to do than time to do it. The only way to beat Goliath Inc or keep up with the scrappy startup competition in your space is to dig in and put in a few nights and weekends as needed.

 

Bottom Line: If your weekly schedule of TV watching is drawing you away from your startup, you should ask yourself how interested in the idea you really are. 

 

3) You're Stubborn to a Fault

Think you're idea is the best thing ever? Refuse to take feedback on the idea or adapt based on the environment around you? You're going to fail.  You need to have an open mind to feedback and constructive criticism both from mentors, advisors and co-founders as well as your customers.  Very few startups end up where they started whether that be completely changing their idea or simply changing the way they execute their original concept.

 

Bottom Line: If you don't believe in taking in feedback and ideas from others and are obsessed with your single vision for an idea, you're startup is in big trouble.

 

4) You're Not Passionately Obsessed with Your Idea

This one matters more than any of the other reasons to quit.  Without passion you have nothing. It doesn't matter how great an idea everyone thinks this is, because when the going gets tough (and it will), you won't have the drive to dig in on it.  There's so many hats you have to wear with a startup and there will be long nights. If you're not absolutely in love with your idea, you won't make it. Passion can make up for so many weaknesses because it will give you the "whatever it takes" attitude. Without this passion, every barrier, every obstacle and set back will hit so much harder.

 

Bottom Line: The best startups are the ones where you have a vision you can't shake; you know this has to happen somehow and you're the person to figure it out.     

 

Startups can quickly consume your time, your money and your life.  Make sure you're doing your startup for the right reasons or you may find yourself looking back questioning if you just wasted the last year or more of your life.

 

Why would you tell someone to quit their startup?

 

Photo Credit: fuzzcat on Flickr

Discussion

Yes, XT, but sometimes that's just not clear....

....Like when you've been to see 100 VCs and none of them see the need. So you launch the business anyway -- despite all these VCs saying you don't meet a need -- and you raise angel money, and you succeed.  Yes, I see tons of people with ideas that don't meet a need.  But there are those ideas which only the founder saw the value in. Tough to call.

Des Pieri

5. Your idea does not fill a real need

All great business ideas stem from a basic need. In many cases, it is a need that was felt by the founder - which means the founder should be able to relate with the customer. If the need is real and many people feel it, your business has a chance to succeed.

 

But sometimes a business is built based upon a perceived need that doesn't actually exist, or one to which a paid solution is less desirable than the current alternative. If you haven't actually asked questions and listened to your target customers, this is likely to happen (see #1 and #3, above).

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