Business writing usually harps on tech start-ups. What a great opportunity, everybody should get in on it! While the tendency in B2B writing is to hype technology, there are some sober realizations to consider before jumping into the fray.
Such as the fact that 90% of tech startups fail. This is due to any number of myriad reasons:
The barrier to entry is low
Technology changes too fast
It’s nearly impossible to predict what’s going to stick. You might find yourself developing support for a platform that gets replaced by something better just as you’re about to launch. You might overestimate or underestimate the market for a product or platform. The Dot-Com bubble and bust of the 1990s is an excellent example. Later, MySpace limped along with everybody saying it won’t last until Mark Zuckerberg showed everyone that the world really did want a giant social network.
Good tech talent is hard to find
There are so many different pursuits within the field of technology, and you can’t count on hiring a general-purpose tech guru. More likely, you will need developers, graphic artists, and a network support person at the least. You can build an application on a platform in a language that was hyped just six months ago, only to discover that it’s impossible to maintain because nobody comes out of college knowing that language now.
User interface design is tough
To sell your product, you have to demonstrate it. If your product looks too intimidating to use, users will give it a pass. Conversely, if your interface is extremely simple, but doesn’t have the set of features a user wants, that’s another lost sale. This presents the catch-22 of hitting a sweet spot balanced between comprehensive enough to pack in all the features while having it be simple enough for the user to figure out. Marketing also has to sell the product to customers who may not be able to understand how the product will help them.
Technology start-ups are still at least an easy trial run for an entrepreneur to test their business merit, and this isn’t meant to discourage anyone from trying. Tech startups have still made many people a fortune. But it’s also wise to be aware of the potential pitfalls.