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.