10 Most Unhelpful Startup Myths

1. “Ownership” Myth

There is a prevailing belief that 100% is worth more than 49%. This gets in the way a lot. If by distributing 51%, you are able to secure the elements needed to have a valuable business, then 49% of “something big” is a lot more than 100% of “nothing happening”.

2. “Feature Rich” Myth

If your critical differentiation is “we will do it all integrated together” – then it is a bad idea. Everyone – even your “no clue competition” have plans to do it all. It is how to get there, what and when you roll out that make the difference.

3. “I am Alone” Myth

If I read another business plan/proposal claiming there is no competition I am going to barf. On the plan. There is always competition. Think about it from the perspective of the customer’s buying decision.

4. “Technology First” Myth

The path to greatness is rarely having the best technology. It is far more often having the better relationship with the customer. It is a marketing game – not a technology game.

5. “Technology Only” Myth

This myth is often perpetrated – the irrational and unsubstantiated myth that the world of business revolves around Silicon Valley and web-based start-ups. The vast majority of new startups are not in San Francisco, or CA, or technology. Every day there are new restaurants, new medical device companies, new yoga studios, new energy alternatives.

6. “VCRG8” Myth

Building a company through the growth of customers is like building your body through a steady work out. Growing your company with an infusion of VC money is like taking steroids. There are always consequences and choices. Success is not getting VC funding – success is building a sustainable company that impacts people’s lives.

7. “Static Market” Myth

The characteristics of your market now will be the characteristics of your market when you launch and in 3, 5, 10 years. There will be other competitors. The existing competitor will respond to you. There will be changes you can’t forsee. Your plans should take that all into consideration.

8. “I am the One” Myth

I know, it is helpful to think you are the next Steve Jobs, William McKnight, Mark Zuckerburg, Sergey Brin or David Packard. You might be – but you’re not yet – so stop acting like it.

9. “Make Money First” Myth

In the end when you are on your death bed – will the amount of money you made matter? Or will it be how you impacted people’s lives? The time to impact is not after – it is now and always.

10. The myth of this Graph

…and it’s various permutations that are included in most business plans.


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