Doing Right things at Right time and in Right Manner. The best of Idea could fail if it's a half-baked, premature, or before its time. Sometimes, the worst Idea succeeds through iterations and modifications. Investor or Investment could be one of the milestones for scalability but definitely not an inevitable stuff for being successful.
It's all about having a right blend to come out with a "Single Malt". That's success. You don't get best drink by mixing everything or anything available, but using the right drink at right occasion with right people.
Most of all there needs to be a market need. You can create anything but if there is not a buyer for it, it won't fly.
In tech industries (Silicon Valley, etc.), startups usually revolve around a good product. Netscape, Linkedin, etc. for example.
Everything you mentioned, are good elements. Necessary but not sufficient. :)
Great question, thank you!
A founder with a passion to build a company that will make an important difference in the world is a good start. The founder's ability to attract, retain and grow a winning team with the right balance of complementary talents is a second critical factor. A third is a strategic focus that envisions a big enough future such that the first product is viewed only as a step in the right direction, not the reason for going into business. Finally, a pervasive sense of urgency throughout is essential.
Customers. If you solve their problem or address their need you will get them. Without them, you have no business.
All the answers are pieces to the puzzle. However, without a strategic plan based on solid research of the concept, market needs, how to develop and how to sell, start-ups tend to pour thousands if not millions of dollars into a deep pit. Spend the money up front to guide the steps you take, reduce your risk of failure, and move forward with confidence based on having the information to make the best decisions.
All of the aforementioned are key. What I have discovered as most key is the 'Something Else'. The Something Else that fuels the founder, the start-up, the idea, the investor, the consultant. This Something Else is core to individual and collective success that brings inner satisfaction even during the unexpected or unwanted challenges. This Something Else attracts quality clients/customers, empowers strong leadership, helps to establish sustainability and more.
According to Mark Andreesen (Andreesen-Horowitz), your market is the most important factor for a successful start-up. I know this probably rubs a lot of people the wrong way because it points to something almost out of your control (I say almost because you more or less choose to target a certain market when building your product/service).
However, he makes a strong argument for why this is so. Great markets suck up great products and make it pay off for the start-up. There are probably many great teams that have built great products that simply did not get adopted because the market did not adopt the technology and/or break its current culture.
Since forming my practice in 2002 I've helped over 50 start-ups launch their venture. Over 90% of new product launches from start-ups. Here's the top areas where entrepreneurs get into trouble:
1. Too much focus on the product. As one investor puts it, "Stop telling me about your fertilizer and talk to me about my lawn." The world is full of great products that have failed. The primary reason is that entrepreneur focused only on the "cool product" and not on the buyer's requirements or needs and how those needs could be uniquely served.
2. Failure to execute: Without fail I see venture launches focusing only on the product. That is a mistake. Investors want to see business viability through management's ability to execute the business plan and market indicators of a sustainable business model, not cool features. That means you have to also validate your business model (does what we're doing make sense?) and your market strategies (are these the right customers? Do they (not you, them) realize value from my offering? Is it unique? And will they buy from me?) as well as minimum product viability aligned to your target customers in the early stage of launch/trials.
3. Failure to surround themselves with other subject matter experts. I view entrepreneurs as brilliant individuals with a great vision or idea. But as most entrepreneur will tell you, they lack experience on the revenue side or other areas such as operations or finance. Build an advisory board with these experts. It's no cost to you and invaluable investment that will often determine whether your business succeeds or fails)
Great question and I hope that helps,