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Why Startup Founders Fail | GrowthX Co-Founder, Andrew Goldner

Why Startup Founders Fail | GrowthX Co-Founder, Andrew Goldner


In fact, the number one reason why funded
startups fail not just in the valley, but globally, are founders that build interesting
products that don’t solve any market needs. Hi, I’m Andrew Goldner! I’m one of the founders of GrowthX and I’m
here at Draper University. If you want to be a great entrepreneur, I
suggest coming here, Draper University. After several years of being the publisher
of Reuters news and running some other businesses for Thomson Reuters, living in Hong Kong and
Singapore and traveling the region, I wanted to come back to the early stage of a company. And so I moved my family back to the United
States, came to Palo Alto had a really interesting journey of a couple of years to figure out
what I wanted to do next. And it was through that journey that I realized
something that I think was very important about Silicon Valley. And I’m afraid to say it’s still somewhat
prevalent here. And it’s something that I do just want you
guys to think about, as you go through Draper University as you build your relationships,
and you seek to become entrepreneurs. And that is in Silicon Valley, if you know
how to build a product, they call you a founder. But if you know how to sell a product, they
call you a non technical founder. And it’s meant as a second class citizen. Why is that? Right? In my world, it’s not dog food until I see
a dog eating it. Right. Now, if you think about Silicon Valley, when
I started practicing here in the in the valley, when I was lawyer, 20, let’s call it 21 years
ago, technology was extremely expensive. technology was extremely complex. And very few people in this world understood
technology and how to build with it. Flash forward to today, when technology has
never been cheaper, has never been less complex. And thanks to computer science degrees, and
coding boot camps, technologists have never been more plentiful. And the reality is just here in the valley,
how many founders really need access, how many of you in the audience with the entrepreneurial
journey that you’re going to go on really need to have proximate access to a Jet Propulsion
Laboratory? How many of you are truly going to invent
a new molecule, or even build hardware? The reality is, is most founders nowadays
are living as we all are in the age of Applied Technology. We’ve we’ve graduated from the age of developed
technology, when the talent to develop the resources to develop were what was important
and what ultimately got funded. And what differentiated you today, we live
in the age of Applied Technology. And the data proves it now. CB insights is annually coming out with a
report about the top 10 reasons why founders fail. And don’t you know that 70% of the reason
why funded founders fail have to do with the behavior of the people in the markets, they
have nothing to do with the features and the functions of the product. In fact, the number one reason why funded
startups fail not just in the valley, but globally, are founders that build interesting
products that don’t solve any market needs. Right? So imagine a huge graveyard, with headstones
everywhere. And they say, “Herein lies your product, cause
of death, no market need.” And so on the journey while I was back in
Silicon Valley, and noticing these things I was blessed to meet who are now my co founders. And we found that GrowthX. GrowthX started out as a seed stage fund. But where we tried to differentiate ourselves
was that rather than focusing on giving you all undifferentiated capital, we tried writing
checks, but only to those folks who had a recognized need and a desire to complement
their product development skills and interests with market development skills and interests. And so we built a private accelerator inside
of our fund that operates as a reverse paywalls. You can’t get access to my team until we give
you money. And that’s actually how we get our best deal
flow. And that’s also part of our core values of
gratefulness and transparency. Because as funders, we believe that we should
be grateful to meet you. That’s why the first words you hear from us
when we do meet you are “thank you,” because we express our gratitude. And we believe that we have to earn the right
to invest in you. And we earn that right by being helpful. As it turns out, health is also an amazing
way to conduct due diligence. And we help where we feel that help is needed
the most. And data is now proving that out. And it’s where we are experts. We’re experts at very few things. But the things we are experts at coincide
with where help is needed the most and valley and other nascent startup ecosystems around
the world. And that is how do innovators get their products
into the hands of customers predictably, profitably and scalably. Hey, I’m Andrew Goldner, the co-founder of
GrowthX and I’m just off the stage talking with a new cohort of Draper University. What an amazing audience! Super international, super diverse and a lot
of great questions. That was one of the best audiences I’ve had
here at Draper University.

1 thought on “Why Startup Founders Fail | GrowthX Co-Founder, Andrew Goldner

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