Startup Failure: 7 Deadly Sins

Blogger, investor and entrepreneur Roger Ehrenberg has written one of the best post mortems of a startup failure that I have ever read.  He’s able to do this partly because he’s a stand-up guy, because he is an excellent communicator and because he has done well enough in life that he can give the straight story instead of the politically correct story.

Roger was co-founder of Monitor110. He helped raise $20MM in VC over 4 years before concluding the return just wasn’t there.  In his after action report on the demise of M110, he identifies and expounds upon 7 deadly sins that doomed the company:

  1. The lack of a single, "the buck stops here" leader until too late in the game
  2. No separation between the technology organization and the product organization
  3. Too much PR, too early
  4. Too much money
  5. Not close enough to the customer
  6. Slow to adapt to market reality
  7. Disagreement on strategy both within the Company and with the Board

Ever first-time entrepreneur should read Roger’s post…it’s like that video they used to show in high school of the aftermath of car accidents.  Roger, thanks for the wisdom!