Startup Failure Is Not What You Think


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This presentation explores new ways of looking at failure in Startups. Specifically concept of "unfail" or "unfailure" is presented and explained. Lean Startup elements are connected with a failure scenarios and lessons learned

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Startup Failure Is Not What You Think

  1. 1. STARTUP FAILURE IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK Sergey L. Sundukovskiy, Ph.D.
  2. 2. Sergey L. Sundukovskiy Co-Founder, CTO & Chief Product Officer Companies: PushPoint, Cinsay, LowerMyBills, DIRECTV, CBW Interests: Entrepreneur, Speaker, Mentor, Advisor Education: BA CS, MS IT, PH.D. Business Sergey L. Sundukovskiy, Ph.D. has over 20 years of experience serving in capacities of Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Product Officer. Sergey specializes in implementation of subscription based high volume SaaS platforms, with strong emphasis on early stage product development and market deployment. Specific areas of expertise include A/B Testing, Big Data, Video Management, eCommerce, RTB platforms and Cloud Computing. Education: B.A. in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.S. in Information Technology from the University of Liverpool. Ph.D. in Information Technology Management from the School of Business and Technology, Capella University. INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND &
  3. 3. SERIAL FAILURE The Story of One Dissertation
  4. 4. FAILURE “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein
  5. 5. WHAT IS FAILURE? Failing Does Not Equal Losing
  6. 6. FailingDoesNot EqualLosing You Did Not Lose Unless You Learned Nothing WHAT IS FAILURE?
  7. 7. YouDidNotLose UnlessYou LearnedNothing We Do Not Have Failures We Have “Learn a Lots” WHAT IS FAILURE?
  8. 8. FAILURE TYPES Complete Failure Company Folded
  9. 9. CompleteFailure CompanyFolded Partial Failure Company Acquired, Merged, etc. FAILURE TYPES
  10. 10. PartialFailure CompanyAcquired, Incorporated,etc. Failure on the Way to Success Lose the Battles Win the War FAILURE TYPES
  11. 11. WHY IS FAILURE IMPORTANT? Complete Failure Fills Ecosystem with Experience
  12. 12. Partial Failure Allows for Second Life CompleteFailure FillsEcosystem withExperience WHY IS FAILURE IMPORTANT?
  13. 13. Failure of the Way to Success Completes Success Cycle (Failure -> Learning -> Success) PartialFailure AllowsforSecondLife WHY IS FAILURE IMPORTANT?
  14. 14. FAILURE DONE WRONG What Happens When Failure is Not Accepted
  15. 15. Japan Recession of the 90’s Companies Would Not Downsize Banks Would Not Foreclose Government Would Bailout Banks WhatHappens WhenFailureis NotAccepted FAILURE DONE WRONG
  16. 16. WHAT DO STARTUPS AND GOLF HAVE IN COMMON? • Constant Failure • Must Have Right Tools • Impossible To Get Lucky • All About The Team • All About Execution • It Is All About Micro-Pivots
  17. 17. Micro-Pivots After Many Failures In… ROAD TO SUCCESS
  18. 18. ROAD TO SUCCESS Product Development
  19. 19. Product Development Product Marketing ROAD TO SUCCESS
  20. 20. Customer Acquisition Product Marketing ROAD TO SUCCESS
  21. 21. Business Model Customer Acquisition ROAD TO SUCCESS
  22. 22. PERFECT FAILURE What Does Failure Look Like? • No Addressable Problem • No Market • No Effective Team • No Customers • No Product • No Product Positioning • No Money
  23. 23. REASONS FOR FAILURE Why is Failure So Common? Failing is SO HOT right now!
  24. 24. REMARKABLE SIMILARITY Beginning of the Startup Journey
  25. 25. End of the Startup Journey Beginningofthe StartupJourney WOAH… Deja Vu! REMARKABLE SIMILARITY
  26. 26. BUILDING A STARTUP Building a Startup Is An Exercise In Un-Failure
  27. 27. UN-FAILURE STRATEGIES • Too Many Steps To Get There Wrong Way To Fail (Tail of Two Extremes) • Hole in One • Give Up Too Early
  28. 28. GIVING UP TOO SOON Diving Lesson KEEP GOING!
  29. 29. • Have Big Targets To Hit (Tracers) Right Way To Fail • Un-Fail Most Important Things First • Change Strategy at the Right Time • Good Return on Luck • Do Not Need to Outrun the Shark, Just Your Buddy UN-FAILURE STRATEGIES