from Tech Crunch 1/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
The Factors. Why some startups soar to great heights while others stumble and fall is almost impossible to answer without digging into the detail of each – on a case-by-case basis. So many factors affect success — from funding & timing, to experience, execution, competitive landscape and even a little luck. There is also the strength of the idea itself, and whether the competition is better, faster, stronger than you are.
#1 Success Principle. But strip back some of the complexity and there are some basic overriding principles that make it more or less likely a startup will succeed. And the simplest of all these rules is “simplicity: itself. Like any good pitch, if your idea can’t be conveyed in one sentence, its survival is already in doubt.
Keep it Simple, Stupid [KiSS] the Winners. The Winners. This may sound really obvious but judging by many of the pitches that pass through TechCrunch’s inbox there are still far too many startups that haven’t learnt this lesson yet. Take a look at some of the startups that have succeeded and consider how easily what they offer can be conveyed. YouTube: upload your videos. Facebook: an online yearbook. Snapchat: self-destructing picture messaging. Twitter: real-time text updates. Instagram: fancy photo-sharing. Pinterest: an online pinboard… and so on. Or, moving away from startups to products — this, from 2007, when Steve Jobs introduced the “iPhone” as: “an iPod, a phone, an internet communicator”.
KiSS, the Losers. On the flip side, consider ideas that aren’t exactly flying, Microsoft has clearly had trouble getting people to buy into its Windows Phone platform and I would argue that part of its problem comes down to trying to sell a complicated message and explain the usefulness of concepts that aren’t immediately obvious — such as Live Tiles, or the OS’s panoramic view. These features might make sense after you’ve used them for a while but most people won’t get that far. So it’s not just startups that need to keep things simple. However it is far more important for startups, because they don’t have the advantage of being an established brand – or millions of dollars to burn on marketing.
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