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What Part of the Process Requires Luck?

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Will-v-the-World

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Why do only a percentage of businesses succeed, even when the founder is a veteran entrepreneur?

It seems like when you fill a need for customers, you're set, so I don't really know how any part of business is luck-based.

I want to know which part of the process of building a business requires luck. I think knowing this will help me make better decisions when making decisions, forming opinions, etc.
 

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PizzaOnTheRoof

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Underestimation of the need for the product/service/software would be my guess
 

PizzaOnTheRoof

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What makes it so hard to find a need? So even investors don't have the formula for finding a real need every time?

Honestly I couldn’t tell you.

The best way I’ve heard it described (in a marketing sense), is taking the potential customer from a before state, to an after state.

People want to look better, feel better, gain something, reduce stress, and raise social status.

If your product can fulfill one of those things then I think you can fill a need.
 

Danny Sullivan

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Here's some simple text i've written down somewhere along the way:

If you only sell to someone's needs, they will alway buy the lowest cost solution that meets those needs.

If they really want something, they will go to great lengths to justify the expenditure.

Maybe you need a new a new kitchen counter, because the old one is messed up and broken and won't last that much longer. But if you also want a new computer to play your favorite games and can only spend money on one or the other. Guess which one it will be?
 

Xeon

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Honestly, there's an infinite amt. of factors and attributes involved that determines whether a business fails vs. become profitable vs. blowup into global massive success, so much so that it's impossible to identify which part is faulty, and luck / timing is just a tiny part of it.

If Facebook was launched in 1995 when most of the world did not even have dialup modem, would it be as successful as it is today?
 

WJK

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There is a "luck" factor. But, it's mostly an illusion. Everyone will tell you that you are just lucky when you are successful from planned hard work. I wrote a blog post about this subject last month.

Is Success Just a Stroke of Luck?

I believe that we attract Lady Luck over time by doing the work and making things happen. She likes smart people who work hard and are relentless.
 

GMSI7D

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Why do only a percentage of businesses succeed, even when the founder is a veteran entrepreneur?

It seems like when you fill a need for customers, you're set, so I don't really know how any part of business is luck-based.

I want to know which part of the process of building a business requires luck. I think knowing this will help me make better decisions when making decisions, forming opinions, etc.


no luck needeed would mean that business is total predictable mathematics

A = B+C

this is not the case

otherwise everybody would be a millionaire. you would just have to apply a recipe like cooking chickens. you would just have to follow predictable mathematics in the book with no adversity at all.


business is something like A= B+ adversity


the pareto principle says that 20 % of people will have 80 % of the success of any population


which means most people will go nowhere . this is facts. not my opinion

so success is not a recipe to follow but rather a fight against adversity


and only a few people have the right factors to do so ( personnality, circumstances and so on )
 

ChrisV

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Luck is always a factor, but also a non-factor

What do i mean by that?

Sure luck exists but it’s gonna even out over the whole spectrum. So just pretend like it doesn’t exist.

Why do only a percentage of businesses succeed, even when the founder is a veteran entrepreneur?

Bad idea, bad execution, overconfidence. I think it’s rarely bad luck.

What makes it so hard to find a need? So even investors don't have the formula for finding a real need every time?

I think it’s hard to guess if people are gonna think it’s worth what you’re c charging, or how many people have that specific problem.

the pareto principle says that 20 % of people will have 80 % of the success of any population


which means most people will go nowhere . this is facts. not my opinion

Yea but pareto principle isn’t some kind of scientific law... it’s just something cool somebody noticed.
 

TreyAllDay

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I want to know which part of the process of building a business requires luck. I think knowing this will help me make better decisions when making decisions, forming opinions, etc.

Well the 90% of businesses fail stat because people start useless businesses that are basically jobs: graphic designer, social media consultant, etc . Generaly there's no sure-fire way to talk about this because it's different for every business, that's why you should forget luck and stick to the fundamentals: specifically Needs and Scalability. Businesses fail for 2 reasons in my opinion (working in saas)

1) No need - We often lie to ourselves about need, and say we "KNOW" there is a need when really we don't. Even after seeing a bit of success you have to continue reinventing your business to meet the need better. I quit my job to launch a product I was convinced would fill a need and I was wrong. Luckily I was able to pivot. This similarly happens to people who start businesses that are saturated: like another coffee shop on a corner.

2) No Scalability - Once you see success, how do you build from there and sustain it? I had success when I pivoted but I quickly found myself working 12 hours a day consistently, babysitting 10 really big clients, taking on clients and work that I shouldn't have, so the business plateaued. I needed (and still need) scalability, a proper client onboarding process, automating tasks, another employee - all of this takes time and money and if you can't put your resources into the right places and maintain your level of service you can quickly burn out, piss off existing customers, and fail. This happens in retail lots.

Regarding luck: it has very little to do with it. The more you execute, the luckier you get. I've been lucky to land big customers because they knew of my work with their colleagues, based on my previous execution.
 

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