Startup founders plunge head first into their businesses seduced by the freedom to create, the chance to positively impact the world, and the occasional vivid daydream of selling to Google or Microsoft for billions of dollars. They research, build, collaborate, and optimistically endure a work-life imbalance similar to that of turn-of-the-century coal miners. Most startup founders immerse themselves fully into their new ventures, despite the knowledge that 90% of startups fail. They continue their work fueled by their faith in the words of the auburn-haired late night philosopher, Conan O’Brien, “if you work really hard, and you’re kind, great things will happen.”
So, given O’Brien’s sound reasoning and the effort put forth by most startup founders, why are only 10% successful? The answer lies with the common misconceptions entrepreneurs have about their market. All too often new ventures focus on their innovations, their teams, and funding - and they neglect researching and analyzing the demand for their solutions. The better budding tycoons know their market, the better their odds of success. Below are the top ten questions new business hopefuls should ask about their market.