Is the startup community focusing on the wrong numbers and therefore hurting itself?
I have founded a startup, which by definition is: a young company fighting for survival. There are of course some within the worldwide startup community that achieve great success early on, kudos to them.
But: The following things go horribly wrong in my opinion, and I am very interested to hear what others think about these:
- - Tech and startup press are only focusing on numbers above 100,000 or even a million. That would be understandable if we were talking about revenues, but we are talking about users, subscribers or even just actions that have been done (for instance: 1.000.000 blablas done on webplatform x).
- - VCs themselves seem to care less about revenues or even potential revenues but more on the same numbers as above. I thought they would like to make money - so why do they only care about user numbers?
- - There seems to be a lot more interest these days in senseless consumer products. B2B seem to be less favorited by anyone these days, which is strange. Could any shiny and flashy B2C product exist without numerous B2B deals before? Would an innovation in B2B not bring much more change in the world? Would it not bring more revenue?
- - "Dude, where is your business model?" - So many of those ideas today start out with no idea of how to get money. That is even more strange as the standard fix for this then seems to be: "We will sell advertising." My answer usually is: Ok, so your only idea to make money is to put yourself in direct competition with companies like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and others of the size? This actually taught me two things: 1. In the end we all compete for the same money, 2. When it comes to making money, everyone wants to be B2B.
- - I cannot tell you how many pitches I have now heard for things that simply will never make sense (Facebook for Dogs and Owners is still my favorite from back in 2010, and I heard that again in 2011).
- - Once a successful niche has been found - everybody else seems to get to want a piece of the cake and every VC funds at least one startup that is along the same lines (I am from Germany, so the Samwer brothers come to mind).
- - Retention seems to become a secondary value: Nobody seems to care about whether users come back as long as they register first. In reality I care a lot more about the users that register and then use my product than users that register, have a look and then never come back. (These I would categorize as the average Techcrunch reader.)
I could go on for ages. I will stop here and let you add yours or disagree and discuss.
If you want to read more about our experiences with some of these questions, you can have a look my cofounder and sisters article here:http://onstartups.com/tabid/3339...
BTW, we founded exploreB2B, so have a look if you want: exploreB2B - The Intelligent way of Networking