What is the biggest challenge that startups face?


Question for all of you startups out there:

What's been your greatest challenge? Or what have you needed the most help with?

  1. Creating a Business Strategy
  2. Raising Money (Finding and/or Pitching Investors)
  3. Building Your Product, App or Website
  4. Finding Customers
  5. Recruiting a Great Team
  6. Something Else

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asked Dec 6 '13 at 08:01
The Start Up Team
59 points
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  • I'd have to go with 2. Money is ALWAYS the problem. Without that, no matter how good you are for 1,3,4,5,6 - you wont get anywhere. – Mr Jack 7 years ago
  • I don't completely agree with Mr. Jack. If you do well with #4, you don't need to actually raise money through investors as #2 suggests. – rbwhitaker 7 years ago

5 Answers


The two biggest causes of Startup Failure are: Team and Time.

Team - not having one, not having the right one, or change of team dynamics over time. All of these things contribute to Startup failure. Something like 60% of Startups fail because of the team.

Time - not having enough time to get to the next step on the path to success. There's that Einstein quote: "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration", and in the Startup world, "perspiration" a good chunk of the perspiration consists of "perseverance".

answered Dec 6 '13 at 19:25
Nick Stevens
4,436 points
  • Nick, quick follow up -- when you refer to a team, are you thinking of co-founders, employees, outside contractors or all of the above? And does it even matter? – The Start Up Team 7 years ago
  • @TheStartUpTeam Certainly the founding team - but also at the point where new employees start to enter the game. – Nick Stevens 7 years ago


Initially, my startup isn't aiming to gain money immediately, but to gain an audience. People to try my app and give feedback. So, #4

How i am covering the other items in your list and not seeing them as a problem:

(#1. My business strategy was simple, being a simple-minded person: My short-term goal it to get traffic. My long-term goal is to sell it off. So my short-term and long-term goals are somewhat connected hence I just need to keep building the app. (At least this is working for me)

(#2. Raising money isn't an issue because i just want to build apps, hence i'm funded by my passion; i work during my free time and don't need money as i have the tools i need to develop apps and i am alone.

(#3. Build product: I'm here - it isn't easy but i have some momentum. I'm learning everyday and i'm getting somewhere. I don't see this as my biggest challenge yet because I am personally having fun building.

(#5. Recruiting a great team - i'm still able to do things on my own, so for my startup there aren't any concerns regarding a team just yet.

(#6. Something else -- i'm really finding myself worried about gaining customers and their feedback, so right now nothing else matters

  • this is just my opinion, for my startup, and i am just answering what my startup's biggest challenge is currently. I can't speak for all other startups. Hope this helps!
answered Dec 6 '13 at 09:24
Yasker Yasker
47 points


#5 Finding a great team is the biggest challenge. With so many different paths a startup can take, having a team that can always find common ground on goals and work logically and collectively through each step is (imo) the most important part of getting your startup off the ground.

With a great team, everything else will come naturally with hard work and dedication.

answered Dec 6 '13 at 12:55
1 point


Promoting business and I would like to prefer to online business communities sites. This is very cost effective and helps in generating new leads and branding business also

answered Dec 6 '13 at 16:26
Robin Williams
11 points


1) This was very easy for us because we both shared the same goals and thoughts so this went fluently

2) Explained in 4

3) We created our business mainly in our spare time and had a product for 95% finished when we started to create costs

4) For us it will be this and indirectly cause #2

We created a game on Windows 8 but there are very few people that actively use the Market to download apps and thereby on the longer run will not get us enough funds to survive when our own resources will be almost depleted after 6 months. We are currently looking for more customers by expanding our product to different markets (iOS, Android etc.) but currently that is the biggest struggle atm.

5) We both can fill the main professions needed for our company thereby we contacted and contracted 2 others for the missing parts to create a full fledged product

6) I guess staying motivated enough is a small challenge for us and combining our job with other jobs (for creating an income) and diving into unknown territory but hey that's part of the whole being a start up risk.

answered Dec 7 '13 at 00:49
Mr Me
101 points
  • MrME, when you say that you contracted 2 others for the missing parts, do you mean 2 technical people (developers/designers), or people from other areas, like marketing and/or business development? – The Start Up Team 7 years ago
  • I see I didn't completely define what company we run so my description at 5) may be a little vague but we run a small game studio and started together (he being an artist and me being a programmer) so we had the most important skills inhouse. We contracted 2 others on Royalty basis (since we don't have enough money to pay them nor to keep them working full time) One does the sound design of our games and the other one will start doing the marketing together with the artist. If you would want to know more about us and how we did things feel free to mail christiaan[@]woodenplankstudios.com :) – Mr Me 7 years ago

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