This is an excerpt of the long survey we did with 25+ startup founders who have raised between 1M-10M USD in the last 2 years. Startup journeys are famously lonely. Unless everything falls in place and your startup starts doing well, you are just trying different ideas and seeing what sticks. Well, sometime back I had an idea. I thought to figure out if there are any patterns in these different journeys. Are there still averages that we can use to learn and benchmark.
With this in mind, I extensively interviewed founders and asked objective questions to all successful founders on different topics such as
👉 How much time on average founders spend to release? 👉 How much do entrepreneurs spend on MVPs on average? 👉 How many iterations founders do before they get to market fit? 👉 Did the founders have previous experience? And so on...
The yardstick to consider a company successful is tricky since companies can be considered successful or unsuccessful on different parameters. Portability, number of users, usage etc may not hold true for all companies and would depend on their business model, domain and stage of their business. Hence, we picked getting funded as the parameter to validate success as it is one parameter consistent to prove that the startup did make successful leaps.
As successful startups can come in all shapes and sizes, we built a sample of companies that have achieved funding between 500K USD and 2M USD to limit our study’s scope. This way we were able to capture companies that are not too small to not have validated their company or too large where growth and success would have been driven by many external factors and teams. We have tried to capture thoughts from companies where founders and their actions were directly responsible for results.
The way for the survey was mostly through Zoom calls. Few people just filled in the survey online while for most people, the survey questions were asked over a call. During the course of these conversations, we were also able to get pieces of wisdom from many of the founders that we have sprinkled throughout the survey. Now that you have got a background into our process and respondents, let’s dive into what we learned-
Many founders actually reported having been on a continuous iteration since launch. Although on deeper discussions, major iterations for a product
Many times founders are in a hurry to launch and may even be planning for a 4 week or lesser launch time. This is to share that most successful startups had a 9-10 months development period before launching.
15% said this was their first startup.
Many startups even reported Zero marketing spent on any of the paid mediums apart from just the founder’s or marketing team’s time.