Learn the key ideas of the book by Mario Moroni

Startup di merda

A survival manual for aspiring startuppers

Mario Moroni wrote this book with the aim of providing an alternative perspective for people who believe that they have a chance of succeeding when really, unfortunately, they do not. In an extremely direct, and at times irreverent way, he explains the problems awaiting all those people, who are about to free fall into the world of innovative digital entrepreneurship, thinking that it will be a piece of cake. Shitty Startup debunks all the myths surrounding the million-dollar market of motivational literature and courses for young dreamers and aspiring entrepreneurs, as a stark reminder that embarking on a career in startups is by no means the only way to do business, nor is it always the most beneficial for the country as a whole.

Startup di merda
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The dangerous and misleading illusion that startups offer easy and mind-blowing success mainly serves the interests of the very people who create and perpetuate the idea

According to a Forbes study, 9 out of 10 startups fail. So why does the idea that starting one is so rewarding, easy, and profitable continue to spread and grow? The answer is that this illusion of easy success has created a gigantic demand for goods and services, and there are now equally huge profits to be had from the entire sector, from authors of motivational books, to miracle-working consultants, graphic designers specialising in glittering presentations, and expert coaches. 

This myth is further perpetuated by the fact that people who have failed in their startup enterprise probably do not like to talk about their experience, and perhaps do not even have the time, as they must now concentrate on other things. The combination of these factors leads most people who are considering creating a startup to believe that the industry is overflowing with stories of fame and success. Yet nothing could be further from the truth and, in fact, there is a reservoir of valuable information on startup failures called “post mortems”, which are posts taken from the blogs of startups that have gone bust.

Aside from this small note on the alternative startup narrative, there is one more component that contributes to spreading this delusion of easy success: who, in all honesty, is going to stop a young entrepreneur hell-bent on launching a startup? Certainly not the people who stand to gain, whether directly or indirectly, from their success or failure. Whether it is a book, a consultancy, a course, a simple click on a banner ad, an accountant, or the state treasury, whoever sells all of these products or services can only hope that startups will continue to appear, and fail.


The key ideas of "Startup di merda"

The dangerous and misleading illusion that startups offer easy and mind-blowing success mainly serves the interests of the very people who create and perpetuate the idea
The startup illusion began with several cognitive distortions, which lead people to identify with all those superlative success stories
The Italian market and society are part of a unique environment, and create unfavourable conditions for opening startups
Our main concern when launching a startup should be its sustainability
There are many conflicting theories around the kinds of brilliant ideas capable of transforming their creators into stars of digital entrepreneurship
Choosing the people we want to work with is a crucial decision that, like so many others, must be forward-thinking, and take into account our often slim and hard-fought budget
There are also many misconceptions surrounding incubators, and their role is often unclear to people who are looking to create a startup
Timelines are an essential factor in understanding whether our forecasted progress is on schedule
No matter how good our startup idea may be, there are factors, which will affect our chances of success in any case, and which are very rarely spoken about
Take-home message

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