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Jun 11

Blog for Startups and Early Stage Tech Companies

Now, it is common to see the statement that the lack of cashflow is the reason for the high business failure rate. But we disagree!

We believe it's caused by not doing the right thing at the right time. For example, I can not recall the last entrepreneur that could show me their pre-market research data validating their idea. But I can tell you they've already spent many thousands of dollars on patent pending, websites, business cards, other branding activities, a prototype, etc.

My point here is that they really have no idea if people would be willing to buy their offering, but they're willing to spend their money. So, when they fail, is cashflow the cause…no, that's a symptom of the problem. The cause of failure is not doing the things they need to do in the right order, that is, they're out-of-sequence. They are not executing the business activities in the correct order.

Patrick Smyth in his book "Elephant Walk" explains it best with his staircase analogy: "The foundation for each and every step must be sound to support the ascending steps." I've been in the technology industry since the 80's; developing all types of software from "off the shelf" to adjuncts for existing systems, from bridging software and middleware, to 100% custom, and just about everythinbg in between – even worked on network card drivers, when that was big. All through my career, the common theme has been entrepreneurs, startups and early stage companies.  I've worked directly or indirectly with many very large companies, e.g., Fortune 100 companies, but my sweet spot is the entrepreneur, startup and early stage organization. For example, I worked for one software “startup” for 15 years, riding the internal rollercoasters that never seemed to end, while waiting for the "big deal" to come and solve all our problems. A couple of big deals did eventually materialize, but they only created more, bigger and worse problems.

During the course of my weekly duties I meet many startups; starry eyed entrepreneurs with the next Facebook idea. I see them jumping on the startup bandwagon, careering down the tracks at 200 mph repeating all the mistakes I’ve seen, experienced and made. Which makes sense because, most startups, as pointed out by Michael Gerber of The E-Myth fame, begin with a "technician" with an idea and know nothing about starting a business. So it's no wonder that statistics report 60 to 85% new business failure. Although we created KENOVA Technologies to help these pioneers, we felt that a blog might enable us to help the people we’re not able to work with. You see, I remember the pain, partner arguments, sleepless “daemon” field nights, robbing Peter to pay Paul, and all the other trappings that go hand-in-hand with startups. Not to mention the lost income and investment dollars AND TIME. Money I can get back!

So if we can blog on topics that prevents just one entrepreneur from losing his, his friend’s and family’s life savings, then it’ll be worth the effort. I'd also like to say that although this blog is targeted at the technology entrepreneur, startup and early stage businesses, its content is universal across business. Some of the techniques discussed are geared to the target audience, however, with a little adaptation they can be used for any industry sector. In addition to my career experience, I'm involved in various groups related to the entrepreneur, which are great for bouncing ideas, thoughts, observations et al. Which I plan to bring to this blog.

Finally, if you know an entrepreneur or wanna'be entrepreneur, startup, early stage individual / company or a company wanting to function more like a startup (lean and customer driven), please share this blog with them. And I encourage you and them to respond to our postings, especially in regards to topics you'd like use to address. We also intend to include some humor with a posting "You might be a startup if…".

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