Why is Growth Important?

Why is growth important?

  • Because most startups fail
  • Usually not because of bad products
  • But because of unvetted features & products, poor marketing, or market related issues

The numbers are sobering...let's take a look at a couple studies on this topic.

To answer the question “Why growth” or “Why now,” let’s look at some sobering numbers. According to a 2018 CB Insights analysis of 101 startup postmortems - companies that failed - here’s the ranked list as to why those companies failed:

Take note of which of these mention the product. Not many, right?


Here's another take: Paul Graham, the famous founder of startup incubator Y Combinator wrote back in 2006 about why startups fail.

Here’s an infographic that Mark Vital put together to visualize the challenges Paul discusses:


Again here we see a lot of problems, but really only 1 or maybe 2 that have anything to do with the product - and even that's a stretch! 

Look at both of these lists. How many of these reasons for failure have to do with marketing? 

28! 

28 out of 38 reasons have to do with marketing.

Put differently:

A whopping 74% of failures had something to do with growth!

This isn’t meant to scare you, but it should bring to attention just how important the marketing and market related component of startup growth is. 

Wait...isn’t this a growth series? What’s this have to do with growth? 

If your company doesn’t get the marketing based components of running the business in order, the chances that the business will fail dramatically go up. Because growth teams tend to be cross functional and live between marketing and product, they are critically responsible for ensuring your startup isn’t the next casualty. This is your chance to be the superhero of your company who drives results across the board - and have some fun while doing it.

If you or your company was smart enough to start a growth team - congratulations - you’re part of the bleeding edge of companies who are embracing a full lifecycle, cross functional team of folks attacking key growth opportunities within the company. And if you aren’t quite there yet, this program will give you the context you need to really think about incorporating growth into the company.

Let’s look at something else. How many of the challenges above speak to the actual product? Not many! It’s worth pointing out that there are terrible products that have resulted in wildly successful products (think about early Facebook or Twitter releases). But it’s rare that wildly successful startups are built without a core growth foundation. And that’s what we’re teaching in this series.


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