How to prevent startups from failing? A UX culture can be the answer

Mar 03, 2020, 286 views

After all, what can define whether a startup will succeed in a positive way or not? Well-developed solutions, connected and within a logical context for the business can be decisive factors. However, experts point out that, in addition to these strategies, the user experience (or UX, in the acronym in English) can be the exponent for a startup to really take off or fate to failure.

And it is worth mentioning that, within a contingent with more than 12 thousand competitors, according to figures from the Brazilian Association of Startups (ABStartups), prospering will require much more than a good investor. In a recent survey carried out by CBInsights, the publication revealed five of the biggest reasons why some embryonic companies do not even reach their maturation phase, being closed early.

In 42% of cases, according to the survey, the first and main mistake of startups that do not work is to offer a product or service that the consumer and the market do not want. “This is what happens when entrepreneurs spend a lot of time dedicating themselves to parts of the process without detecting, for example, if there is, in fact, demand for their business, in addition to carefully checking whether it is inserted in the local culture and if the user experience (UX) offered reaches the customer as planned, ”explains Melina Alves, CEO and founder of DUXcoworkers, a company that makes good UX and coworking practices a work culture.

Also according to CBInsights research, the second most fatal mistake for (29% of cases) startups is running out of money. In the evaluation of Adolfo Melito, economist and president of CrowdInvest, in addition to being the founder of MyFirstIPO, it is possible to prevent the lack of capital by including small movements in the planning, such as the development of prototypes, acceptance tests of your product or service in incorporating improvements and submitting these items to new cycles of experimentation. These cycles are short and spend low volumes of capital. “The teams are multifunctional and operate by project. If this mechanism works satisfactorily, the risks inherent in subsequent errors can, from the start, be minimized or even avoided ”, he advises.

Thirdly, with 23% of cases that lead an embryonic company to close, choosing the team inappropriately can be just as bad for the startup as the lack of investments. “If the brand says one thing and the team another, we have an evident dysfunctionality. The same is true in the design of the value proposition, which should be a guide both in the choice of profiles to compose the team and in the search for partners and investors. The alignment of expectations and values ​​avoids this dysfunctionality ”, says Melito.

In the fourth place in the survey, with 19% of the cases, competition is the main factor for ending the entrepreneurial dream. In this case, failure is directly linked to the degree of differentiation of your product or service in relation to the market. “This is one of the innovation drivers of any company”, stresses Melito. Still, and linked to the last mentioned factor, the fifth most common error, with 18%, is the wrong pricing of the product or service offered. “Investing in research is fundamental for this error to be avoided”, recalls Melina, from DUXcoworkers.

Although these five circumstances are relevant to bankrupt the startup, a single reason, however, is not enough for a final collapse, but a combination of them. In order for all of the above to be aligned, there is the UX Culture, or “user experience”, in free translation, which, in Melina's view, must be accompanied by a thorough market analysis based on the usage experience.

“When UX is brought to the organization, the cycle of investigation, prototyping, testing and performance is also inserted in business management, indicating with efficiency and assertiveness the direction that the startup should take”, he concludes.

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