The infancy of a startup involves a lot of searching. Startups talk a lot about pivoting, changing their mission or product to suit the market ahead of them. What may have seemed like a great idea in theory for a startup can hit a wall very fast in practice. However, despite all the assurances that a company can pivot and change in the future, decisions that its founders make at the very beginning will still have a profound effect on whether the startup actually goes anywhere.
The LIFE (Learning Incrementally from Failed Entrepreneurship) project conducted a survey of European startups on the problems, challenges, and failures they encountered during various stages of their development. LIFE divides this development into four phases – Discovery, Validation, Efficiency, and Growth. It provides a snapshot into the obstacles that entrepreneurs face at different stages.