90% Of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%

90% Of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%

As an entrepreneur, I know about failure. I’ve made mistakes, pretty stupid ones. At the same time, though, I’ve been fortunate enough to succeed a few times, too.

Along the way, I’ve been able to understand some of the lesser-known reasons that some startups fail, and more importantly why a few succeed.

How many startups fail?

Nine out of ten startups will fail. This is a hard and bleak truth, but one that you’d do well to meditate on. Entrepreneurs may even want to write their failure post-mortem before they launch their business.

Why? Because very optimistic entrepreneur needs a dose of reality now and then. Cold statistics like these are not intended to discourage entrepreneurs, but to encourage them to work smarter and harder.

What are the characteristics of startups that succeed?

There are plenty of characteristics of successful startups. My goal isn’t to list them all for you, but rather to point out some of the most significant causes of success.

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1. The product is perfect for the market.

Fortune reported the “top reason” that startups fail: “They make products no one wants.” A careful survey of failed startups determined that 42% of them identified the “lack of a market need for their product” as the single biggest reason for their failure.

If you’re going to spend your time making a product, then spend your time making sure it’s the right product for the right market.

2. The entrepreneur does not ignore anything.

After their company folded, Dijiwan’s leaders wrote this:

A good product idea and a strong technical team are not a guarantee of a sustainable business. One should not ignore the business process and issues of a company because it is not their job. It can eventually deprive them from any future in that company.

Ouch. They had a great product. They had a strong team. What did they lack?

An under-the-hood look at Dijiwan makes it clear. They overlooked key aspects of business process and the “boring stuff.” The CEO thinks, “It’s my job to lead.” The CMO thinks, “It’s my job to market.” The lead developer thinks, “It’s my job to code.”

But a startup can’t segment its responsibilities like that. Things are far more organic in a startup, meaning that roles and responsibilities will overlap. Small things can turn into large things. Some of the most important components of a startup are those pesky issues of business process, business model, and scalability.

Successful entrepreneurs understand that they must work on their business, not in their business. Getting caught up in the minutiae of presentations, phone calls, meetings, and emails can distract the entrepreneur from the heart of the business.

3. The company grows fast.

Who says that fast growth is unsustainable? And who even cares?

Growth — fast growth — is what entrepreneurs crave, investors need, and markets want. Rapid growth is the sign of a great idea in a hot market.

The founders of Wantful (inactive), confessed that they did not accomplish “highly accelerated growth required to secure later-stage venture capital.” They needed funding, but when the company didn’t grow fast enough, they weren’t eligible to secure more funding. That was the beginning of the end.

Growth leads to more growth, which leads to even more growth. A startup should not be satisfied with marginal single-digit growth rates after many months of operating. If the growth doesn’t happen after a certain amount of time, then the growth will not happen. A company that is not growing is shrinking.

The second major reason why startups fail is that they “ran out of cash.” Why did they run out of cash? Because they didn’t grow fast enough. If your startup can grow fast, you can effectively bypass some of the biggest startup killers — losing to the competition, losing customers, losing personnel, and losing passion.

Rapid growth early on is a sure sign of future success.

4. The team knows how to recover.

Every startup is backed by a team of people. The more versatile that team, the better chance they have of succeeding.

“Versatility” is often viewed in a limited sense, that of possessing more than one skill or talent. Versatility in the startup environment involves much more than someone’s skillset. It involves mindset. Startup teams must possess the ability to change products, adjust to different compensation plans, take up a new marketing approach, shift industries, rebrand the business, or even tear down a business and start all over again.

It’s all about recovering from blows. Teams that are able to recover together, also possess the unique trait of harmoniously working together through tough times.

I’ve also noticed that startups with co-founders have a higher success rate than companies with a single founder. Having a cofounder creates a partnership. There’s much more accountability, which helps you to avoid some of the pitfalls of a single charismatic leader. Plus, a cofounder will have skills that you don’t have.


If your startup lasts, you’re lucky. You’ve been able to do something that 90% of new businesses haven’t.

Even though there’s a lot of luck involved in the success stories like Google and Facebook, there are more humble reasons why other startups succeed. They have a product that meets a need, they don’t ignore anything, they grow fast, and they recover from the hard-knock startup life.

If you’ve got these four characteristics, then you’re setting yourself up for major success.

What characteristics have you noticed about the startups that succeed?

WATCH — FAIL ACADEMY: Top Reasons Startups Fail

FAIL ACADEMY: Top Reasons Startups Fail| 31:36

I am the cofounder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics. I help companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls me a…

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8 Of The Best Air Fryers For 2020

Forbes Personal Shopper

Many people can’t get enough of crunchy fried foods, but it’s no secret that greasy, oil-fried entrees aren’t exactly good for your health. Luckily, air fryers help solve this dilemma, allowing you to recreate your favorite fried dishes using significantly less oil.

These gadgets, which have spiked in popularity in recent years, are essentially countertop convection ovens, cooking ingredients by circulating hot air around their inner chamber. This gives food the crispy texture you’d get from frying without requiring excessive amounts of oil, and it also cooks faster than a traditional oven.

As you shop for an air fryer, you’ll want to consider key features like the appliance’s capacity, temperature range, additional functions and size, as certain air fryers can be large and cumbersome to store. With these considerations in mind, the following are several of the most popular air fryers you can buy today.


Philips TurboStar Digital Air Fryer


One of the most highly rated air fryers you can buy today is the Philips TurboStar. While pricey, this appliance is spacious, powerful and reliable, making it a worthwhile investment for those who can’t live without their favorite fried foods. It has a 2.75-quart cooking capacity and can grill, roast, bake and fry at temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Philips TurboStar Air Fryer is designed to cook fried foods quickly and evenly with little to no oil, resulting in delicious food that has 75 percent less fat than traditional fried preparations. It has four preset settings for popular dishes, and it comes with a recipe book that includes directions for more than 200 air-fried foods. This air fryer even has a unique “keep warm” function, and its components are easy to clean thanks to their dishwasher-safe nonstick construction.

Ninja Electric Air Fryer


Ninja 4-Quart Electric Air Fryer


The Ninja 4-Quart Electric Ary Fryer is another popular model that balances value with performance. It delivers a temperature range of 105 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can choose from air fry, roast, reheat and dehydrate settings via its one-touch control panel.

This air fryer has a large-capacity ceramic-coated basket that can hold up to 2 pounds of French fries, and it comes with a crisper plate, multilayer rack for dehydrating and recipe booklet. Reviewers love the spacious capacity and consistent results that this air fryer delivers, and as an added bonus, many of its components are dishwasher-safe for easy maintenance.

GoWISE Chili Red Air Fryer

GoWise USA 8-in-1 Air Fryer with 6-Piece Accessory Set


Not sure if an air fryer is right for you? Then you may want to consider a more affordable option, such as the GoWise USA 8-in-1 Air Fryer, which comes with a six-piece accessory set. This extra-large air fryer is available in four colors and has an impressive 5.8-quart capacity, and it features eight preset smart programs to help you cook fries, pizza, chicken, steak and more. It can cook at temperatures between 180 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and its cooking timer can be set for up to 30 minutes.

However, what sets this air fryer apart is its accessories kit, which includes an 8-inch baking pan, an 8-inch pie/pizza pan, insert a rack, insert a rack with skewers, toasting/warming rack and a silicone pot holder. With these tools, you can cook a wide range of foods in your new appliance — anything from crispy chicken to decadent cakes.


Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven


Most air fryers have a basket design, but the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven does things differently. This unique appliance is actually a full-sized toaster oven that’s equipped with air frying capabilities, as well. In fact, the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven has seven cooking functions, including air fry, convection bake, convection broil, warming, toasting and more.

This air fryer and toaster oven combo has a wide temperature range of 80 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can accommodate up to 3 pounds of food at a time, including a 12-inch pizza. With your purchase, you get an oven rack, baking pan and air fryer basket, and you’re sure to be impressed with its whisper-quiet operation. Plus, the sleek stainless steel exterior will look attractive as part of your kitchen decor.

Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker


Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker with TenderCrisp


For a versatile appliance, the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker has air frying capabilities, as well as pressure cooking, baking, slow cooking and steaming functions. This appliance has a large 6.5-quart ceramic-coated pot and a 4-quart cook-and crisp-basket that can hold up to a 5-pound chicken or 3 pounds of French fries — its large capacity makes it an ideal option for large households.

This 8-in-1 appliance includes a special Crisping Lid that gives food a crispy, golden finish, and it has 14 safety features to prevent accidents while pressure cooking and air frying. The pressure cook setting prepares foods 70 percent faster than traditional cooking methods, all while sealing in juices, and the appliance can even cook frozen foods, saving you the hassle of defrosting. If you’re looking for an appliance that can do it all, the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker should definitely be a contender.

Breville Convection and Air Fry Smart Oven


Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer


The Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer is another multifunctional appliance that can take the place of several gadgets in your kitchen. This air fryer resembles a toaster oven, but it features air frying, slow cooking, baking and broiling settings and a temperature range of 120 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The spacious interior of this appliance is one of its main selling points — it can fit up to six slices of bread or a 13-inch pizza — and it comes with several accessories, including a nonstick pizza pan, enamel roasting pan, air fry basket, wire rack and broiling rack.

The Smart Oven Air Fryer comes in five stylish finishes, and it has the brand’s unique Element iQ system, which makes cooking easy by setting the ideal cooking time and temperature based on what you’re making. Plus, the appliance features a dual-speed Convection mode, which cooks food up to 30 percent faster, as well as “super convection” to crisp up the exterior of food, delivering that fried texture you’re craving. While this air fryer is quite expensive, it’s a worthwhile investment for households who will use it frequently, especially because it’s incredibly versatile and delivers consistent results.

Best Choice Air Fryer


Best Choice Products 6-in-1 Digital Family-Sized Air Fryer


Another affordable, no-frills option is the Best Choice Products 6-in-1 Digital Family-Sized Air Fryer. This model has a spacious 5.5-quart basket to cook family-sized portions, as well as six temperature and time presets for popular foods like fries, vegetables, meat and more. The air fryer has a temperature range of 140 to 392 degrees Fahrenheit, and it also features a removable fry basket that comes out of the base, allowing for easier cleaning. While it may be a basic model, reviewers say this air fryer from Best Choice Products cooks foods quickly and easily, and its affordable price makes it a great option for those looking to try out the technology without making a huge investment.

COSORI Air Fryer


COSORI Air Fryer


The COSORI Air Fryer is spacious and versatile, and it comes in three fingerprint-resistant finishes, allowing you to match your decor. This large air fryer has a 5.8-quart capacity, which can accommodate a 5-pound whole chicken, and it has a temperature range of 170 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing you to cook a variety of foods.

There are 11 preset functions built into the COSORI Air Fryer, including one-touch programs for steak, poultry, seafood, bacon, frozen foods and even bread. Another unique feature is its “shake reminder,” which lets you know when you need to agitate the basket to get even cooking results. The fryer’s nonstick basket is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and the appliance comes with a recipe booklet to help get you started cooking air-fried delicious meals.

If you’re looking for other appliances to upgrade your cooking, we’ve found four great smart home appliances for your kitchen. If you’re looking for a great coffee maker or immersion blender to up your other cooking ventures, we’ve found the best in the market.

Born and raised in Canberra, Australia, I lived in France and Minnesota before eventually landing in sunny California. I’ve written for a range of online publications,

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