The OlyverApp Blog

Beware Advice from 'Successful Entrepreneurs'

Blog Home   OlyverApp Home

Starting a business is like going on a diet. Every "success" story is about finding that one invaluable secret that changes everything. There are self-help guides, blogs, books, and videos each with its own road map to "winning". No startup would fail if funding and customers were as easy to get as generic "advice".

In reality, successful entrepreneurs often benefit from factors over which they have no control. Don't assume that emulating a successful startup founder is the path to entrepreneurial success. Whatever worked for them may not work for you.

There's no time-proven "formula" that will ensure your venture succeeds. Don't waste your time looking for one.

Sometimes Success or Failure Can Come Down to This!

  1. World Events. While we were trapped inside during CoVid, the Clubhouse app provided a lifeline for people desperate to stay in touch. It became a social media mainstay shortly after its 2020 launch. But as pandemic restrictions eased and companies like Twitter/X offered comparable services, Clubhouse's popularity quickly waned. It's now trying to reinvent itself as an audio messaging app. Clubhouse would probably not have enjoyed meteoric success in a saturated social media market without the pandemic creating a unique, catalyzing need.
  2. The "News". Economists, like meterologists, are better at explaining the past than predicting the future. The Great Recession of 2008-2009 took almost everyone by surprise even though multi-million dollar mansions were being purchased by new homeowners with little credit and less collateral. Sellers and banks made a fortune on paper, and news of the heady market lead more people to jump on the bandwagon blissfully unaware of the impending collapse. Bad information lead to bad decisions. By contrast, a broad consensus that a recession would hit in 2023 made consumers - your customers - less inclined to spend. Of course, it's late November and there hasn't been one yet. Now the conventional wisdom is that a recession is certain for 2024, or, as one JP Morgan Global Strategist put it, "A recession is obviously going to happen at some point." These predictions become self-fulfilling prophecies and hurt your bottom line.
  3. Right Place. Right Time. There is no substitute for good timing. Clubhouse launched its app on the eve of a pandemic that left people looking for safe ways to congregate. Zoom was another beneficiary of the bad times, quadrupling quarterly sales as meetings went virtual. Both had the right product on the market at the right time to meet a specific need. By contrast, Hertz was so cash-poor when CoVid hit that it wound up selling off a good portion of its fleet in bankruptcy as the travel industry collapsed.
  4. Dumb Luck. Entrepreneurs bristle at the suggestion that luck played any role in their success. But how else to explain when silly ideas become big money makers? In 1975, a guy glued a pair of googly-eyes to small stones and sold them in boxes with airholes. The Pet Rock blew up into a Christmas fad and made its founder a millionaire. Likewise, Mark Zuckerberg didn't set out to revolutionize how people interact online. He stumbled onto Facebook - and the broader applications of social networking - as an awkward, lonely college kid trying to get laid. That's not to say that Zuckerberg isn't brilliant and hard-working. He quickly realized the broad applications of Facebook as a technology, social driver, and business opportunity. Zuckerberg "made his own luck" by seizing a great chance when it fell into his lap.

The Takeaway. There's no time-proven "formula" that will ensure your venture succeeds. Don't waste your time looking for one. The best you can do is position your venture for success. Looking for advice on specific problems is always a best practice. Looking for a gilded path or golden ticket is a waste of time.

Want more tips for running your business? Follow OlyverApp on Twitter and LinkedIn.

OlyverApp does not provide legal, accounting, or other professional services.
© 2024 OliverClarity Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Service