Startups focus a lot of time on the things that will make them successful. Their market fit. Their go-to-market strategy. Their differentiator. Their customer acquisition strategy. But perhaps the most important thing a startup can do is identify the reason they might fail and then work hard to make sure that never happens.
Startups need to be able to finish this sentence: If we’re not successful it will be because…
As I answer this for Dragon Army, the answer seems obvious. And if you read this blog with any regularity you’ll know where I’m going with this. For Dragon Army, if we’re not successful it will only be because we ran out of time. For us, the runway is everything.
Our goal is to make amazing games. We start with mobile (phones and tablets) and if our game is successful, we’ll publish it on other platforms (consoles, web, etc.). We’re working toward the big hit. The Angry Birds, if you will.
And Angry Birds is a great example of why I believe our runway is the key to our success. Rovio made 51 games before they had their breakout game. I’m surely hoping it won’t take that long for us, but I need to ensure that we don’t run out of time to have our big moment.
Every other way I could answer the question still ends in having enough time to make it happen. For example, I could say:
If we’re not successful it will be because we are making the wrong type of games. However, if we have enough time then we’ll figure that out and start making the right type of games.
Or, if we’re not successful it will be because we don’t market our games effectively. Again, given enough time I’m 100% confident we will figure out the best way to market our games.
So for Dragon Army, its all about the runway. And its my responsibility to make sure we enough runway to be successful.
How would your startup finish the sentence: If we’re not successful it will be because…