I often hear entrepreneurs say that a lot of tech startups fail due to of lack of capital.
I have a different view. I believe that a lot of tech startups fail because of inefficient use of time.
I realize that (a) time and money have a strong, 1st level relationship and (b) capital often buys a startup time or "runway". However, in my experience the chief enemy of a startup is wasting time on activities that don't validate the idea, business, or concept sufficiently to raise capital.
My experiential albeit anecdotal evidence for this is the post-mortem conversations I have with myself, my teams, and other entrepreneurs at the end of a venture. These discussions are often a long list of sentences structured like this:
I cannot believe how much time we wasted on ...
Each of the above wastes time and cuts into the little bit of "runway" a startup has.
Startups need time to get validated learnings that answer a couple of basic questions, e.g. Is there a business here, and if so, what are its characteristics?
Time is needed to:
Raising capital is tough; however, capital exists and you can add more to your startup if you have good evidence to backup your story.
Time, on the other hand, just passes by, marches forward and doesn't come back.
Be efficient and effective with whatever time your startup has.
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Of what you need time for, I'd argue it's more important to get the right advisor/consultant/hire on the team who can accelerate these learnings for you. "Learn & Fail" does not mean test things that have already been tested or learn things that people already know. 99.9999% of the startups I've watched fail failed because of a team insufficient to the task and an ignorance of or unwillingness on the part of the founders to invest in the right team.