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Gurbaksh Chahal | Why 99% of Entrepreneurs Fail


Gurbaksh Chahal Entrepreneurship

February 3, 2015

Entrepreneurship is jumping off a cliff

99% is execution. 1% is the idea.

Nine out of ten venture-backed companies fail. Ever wonder, why? Well, there are many different things. But, we will focus on one today.

One out of ten start-ups survive. From that 10%, nine out of those ten will turn into zombies; an illiquid asset. Meaning, it may print money but it’s lost it’s purpose and appeal in the marketplace. Timing didn’t work out. Execution killed the trophy.

Now, the remaining 10% of the initial 10% which survived, may actually have an exit or path toward an IPO (which is not an exit by any means).

But, don’t get happy. That exit I’m referring to, doesn’t mean everyone gets rich; it’s just an exit. Someone buys it. That could mean the company may have gone through several VC rounds where the founders’ ownership isn’t much, and based on the terms the VCs will get their money, and then some.

So, if you’re trying to create a unicorn, which is everyone’s dream, start hustling. There’s only been forty of those in the last ten years. A “Unicorn” is a company that hits at least one-billion dollar valuation or more; and to get there is not an easy journey.

Here is why 99% of all entrepreneurs fail:

The fear of execution. The fear of perfection. The fear of trying to realize that the only way to get something done, is to go ahead and expose yourself. And, many don’t want to.

The other 1% who succeed is because they realized the only way is to succeed is to go ahead and press play. Make mistakes, fail, and iterate fast.

“Everyone can try to execute. The difference is speed. That’s what makes us, or breaks us.”

99% of an entrepreneurs job is execution. Only 1% is the idea. And, if you’re absorbed in trying make that perfect idea into a reality, you’re living in a fantasy. Fantasies only live and work in Disney movies. But, in the real world, fantasies don’t exist. Opportunities do.

The only way you’re gonna seize an opportunity, is to realize that you will not make the best product from the begininng. You’re not going to be an overnight success, either. You’re gonna have to put everything you have on the line and may have to re-build your engine after you’re plane has already left the runway. You might have to change your pilot, or swap out the crew. You will have to change a whole cast of things.

But, the difference is, that’s what execution is about. The idea of it flying; that’s just a fantasy.

“Entrepreneurship is jumping off a cliff and inventing a parachute along that journey.”