While most startups sadly fail, these cautionary tales can help the next generation of founders succeed.
I was delighted to be invited to provide my insights on this topic for October 2017 edition of Elite Business Magazine.
EXTRACT from article featured in ELITE BUSINESS MAGAZINE (11TH October 2017)
Powa Technologies’ fall from grace caught many by surprise. The British unicorn had at one point been valued at $2.7bn and had even been hailed by David Cameron as a big contributor to the UK’s recovery after the financial crisis. So when the tech company went into administration in 2016 it stunned entrepreneurs everywhere. “The collapse of Powa Technologies was a wakeup call to UK enterprises [reminding them] that even so-called unicorns can die,” says Marina Nicholas, strategy director of ventures at ThoughtWorks Ventures, the global technology consultancy. It also served as a reminder that launching new enterprises is not for the faint of heart.
In fact, research from RSA, the commercial insurer, shows that more than half of British businesses don’t survive into their fifth year. And there are plenty of reasons for founders to pay attention when startups collapse like a house of cards. “Naturally entrepreneurs love to read the success stories of companies like Uber and Airbnb to learn exactly how to succeed,” says Nicholas. “However, the number of startups that fail exceeds those [succeeding and the ones that falter provide a wealth] of insights and knowledge of what not to do.”
Ultimately, knowing how other businesses fail won’t inoculate new entrepreneurs from making mistakes of their own but paying close attention can help founders avoid following in Powa Technologies’ footsteps. “Essentially startups must become experts in why others have failed and subsequently adjust their own plans to achieve success,” concludes Nicholas. “We all know that success leaves clues but don’t discount the teaching power of failure.”
You can read the full article here