Startup Disrupt is on Clubhouse! On the 11th of February, we’ve started new regular series called Czech Startup Leaders in which we talk with leading Czech entrepreneurs and people from the startup world.
Almost 200 people attended our first event about business fuckups and making entrepreneurial mistakes. Startup Disrupt CEO Patrik Juránek interviewed Ondřej Krátký, Radek Novotný, and Pavlína Louženská and they shared their personal stories from their career, advice for startups, and the most common mistakes new founders make.
What are the best highlights from the first Czech Startup Leaders discussion? Let’s find out!
Failing in the early stage
Pavlína Louženská, mentor of Google for Startups and founder HolkyzMarketingu shared really interesting numbers. 90% of all technology startups fail, 50% of them fail in the first 5 years of their existence. The startups on average raised 1.3 million USD and weren’t on the market longer than 20 months. The most common reason to end the business is running out of money or not fitting in the product market.
What is the first step to a successful startup? Perfect research. It’s necessary to get to know the potential customer well and fit the market perfectly with the product. Pavlína mentioned a Czech software company Product Board as an example of a good approach to the business – research first, launching a product next.
“It’s important to be realistic about the situation and think about your next steps, but planning on the expansion to different countries, without knowing the industry and the Czech market well, is a mistake”, says Pavlína Louženská.
Knowing your industry
We’ve heard a lot of interesting stories about the start of a company Liftago from its CEO Ondřej Krátký. He also mentioned that it is important to know your product and industry well.
He thinks that a good way to explore the business is by being employed in the industry first and then start your own company or startup. It’s also a good idea to work in a startup before starting your own. As a CEO of Liftago, his day-to-day job is trying to make their service better and better – he often works as a delivery driver, because he wants to know, what is important to improve for his employees.
What’s specific for the Czech Republic?
- We have much younger founders of startups than abroad.
- We care a lot about hard metrics. It’s important to focus on company culture, a good hiring system, and it would be great to help each other a bit more.
- Radek Novotný, Superface CEO, says that startups in Czechia are trying to monetize their businesses too soon. Investors are maybe pushing on the sales and return of the money too early but on the other hand – the profit is necessary.
The changing role of a founder
Sometimes founders think, that they know and can do everything.
Radek Novotný mentioned that the art of knowing when to turn on a turn off your ego is the key. Having people for every specific work position saves time and it’s way more effective than doing everything by yourself. Define your company culture and try to find the people that fit in its DNA.
The changing role of a founder is extremely hard, but the most important thing is to develop and push your startup to the next level.
How to deal with fuckups and fails?
- Quickly. Analyze and react fast.
- Learn from your fails and don’t repeat the same mistakes.
- Mental health and long term well-being are crucial. Talk about your troubles with professionals, turn off social media, eat and sleep better – take care of yourself.
- Search for feedback.
And what did you learn from failing?
Go to community.startupdisrupt.com and share with us your experience with fuckups and entrepreneurship mistakes.