Why Startup successes and failures have largely remained a black box


 There is a consistent set of factors that lead to startup success and failure.

I thought I had a pretty good explanation of success and failure, but wondered if my observations were supported by hard data and detailed case studies, and my curiosity around startup success and failure eventually got the better of me. I dug deep, researched as much as I could, read a lot of papers by research institutions, but I never found a rich, full-length story of a startup.  Its everyday journey. The best I could find were the glorified stories of successful startup founders and how they scaled up. Startup successes and failures have largely remained a black box.

All the struggles – the rejections from VCs, the heartaches of losing a great employee to a rival, the arguments about pricing, the betrayals from co-founders, the rumours about your bias towards an employee, the failure of your pre-release surveys, the criticism from clients, the perennially empty bank account, the small wins of the first 100 signups, the nervousness of pre-launch day, the long nights spent on bug fixing, the happiness of seeing good reviews from customers and all those lonely nights trying to make their vision a reality – have rarely been documented in full colour.

Inspired by Hiten Shah, we thought we ought to do a “behind the curtain” view of a campaign to launch and scale a product so that the new founders don’t make the same mistakes again. No one shares this stuff. Why would they? It’s kind of scary to share your failures as you learn. However, it’s also one of the most important parts of creating a business. The following 5-10 years of your business depend on the quality of the first 1-2.

As we launch a new AI-powered CRM, for the next 12 months we will share our story with you. The behind-the-scenes preview as we develop our product and try to scale it up.  You’ll see how we iterate landing pages, do market research, define personas of our audience, craft messages and reach out to our target audience. You will see how we go about hiring in as much detail as you see how we went about choosing our tech stack and tools.  I will break down every process within every single research exercise and the learning from each of them, whether we fail or succeed. It will be as raw as it can be.

This is not a fake launch. We are not selling anything. There are no tricks at the end of this. But, why do we want to share our story with you?  We just want to document our learning so that the next generation of entrepreneurs don’t make the same mistakes.

If anyone on your team is responsible for anything related to product or interested in improving their product development or marketing or hiring skills, you probably want to share this with them. This isn’t just for people who are creating new products, it will also help you if you have an existing product you want to make better.

We would be glad and indebted if, during the course of this journey, you would like to participate in any way. A comment on our research methodology, a pat on the back for our product launch framework, all would mean a lot to us.

We will kick off next week and look forward to engaging with you in the coming months.

Best Regards

Vikas and Team Alore

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