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Missing Data

It’s often observed in the startup world that newcomers take a pacifying approach to judge their ideas. They destroy the realistic market conditions with their slick hockey stick graphs, they just know millions of previously undiscovered customers waiting to be saved, to top it off an imaginary line of investors struggling to make their ends meet.

Well, there is nothing to stop all of that when at the end of the day, ignorance is bliss. But, the problem is when some practice that magical spell over and over again, with a sense that it’s only a matter of time before their dreams become reality because they are dreaming.

Let’s dig it with an example to humor you, Jack wants to celebrate his daughter’s birthday party and is in search of caterers. He googles it and he doesn’t find anything satisfactory. He goes here and there, finally finds one, and gets done with the party. But the itch has already taken its root, it’s only a matter of time before it takes over the host. Entrepreneurship is a dream and Jack has it. His struggle to find caterers for the party already convinced him that the problem is there and it’s real and it’s thriving, he needs to curb it. 
He goes out there, gives it another try, he sees everything he wants to see. He reads everything he wants to hear. Voila, there’s a startup idea and there is no competition either.

The research and expertise he gained during his small voyage are not enough to assess the market or predict the future. For many like Jack, they get one shot to crack at it. Most of the lessons out there capture only 10% of the iceberg. Entrepreneurship is beautiful and tough. But, it’s not impossible. If 70% of startups fail (Jack read that 90% fail), it’s not because its a norm. It’s not a fact that they should fail. 

One of the most important questions you need to ask before arriving to a conclusion: “what’s missing”. You might have collected as much data as you want, but where is the missing data. In Jack’s case, one aspect he should be pursuing is – “Didn’t anyone try this idea before? Are those startups already dead? Why did they die? Where is the missing data?”

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