In my role as an angel investor and startup advisor, I have lately engaged with a large number of high technology startups with their origins in struggling Nokia. We are living truly exciting times as this experienced army of software developers, hardware geeks, and business developers are building technology-based startups in great numbers. Over the past two years, more than 200 Nokia-based startups have already been founded globally – not all of them hitech product startups though. And there will be a fairly large amount of new ones over the next twelve months. So, as a phenomenon this certainly is a big deal – especially in Finland.
I am worried. Time and time again I have encountered pretty much the same mistakes across these Nokia-based startups I have engaged with. Mistakes, that no doubt can kill these startups, or at the minimum slow down their growth. These constantly recurring mistakes in Nokia-based startups inspired me, and I first assembled a prioritized list of top mistakes just for myself, and then thought that perhaps if I shared my list for the rest, folks in these Nokia-based startups would do less mistakes. Being aware usually helps a lot.
I have identified the top ten mistakes in Nokia-based startups, and will discuss these one by one in an upcoming series of blog posts Top Ten Mistakes in Startups Rising from Nokia’s Ashes. These posts are published here at www.ToughLoveAngel.com during the next three weeks.
I will write the posts with Nokia angle. Most of these mistakes, however, are generic in their nature to startups arising from any large corporation. There is a strong connection to not following lean startup principles, and thus the posts are also relevant to any startup – independent of its origin. The Nokia specificity comes mainly from two factors: the Nokia specific culture and its handicaps, and the rules and monetary incentives of Nokia’s incubation programs that cultivate and more likely lead to certain mistakes.
The following posts are now live:
- Nokia Startups Mistake #1 – a CEO who can’t sell or lead the product
- Nokia Startups Mistake #2 – the Free Rider Issue
- Nokia Startups Mistake #3 – the GODDAMN Pie
- Nokia Startups Mistake #4 – Culture Gone Wrong
- Nokia Startups Mistake #5 – High Burn Rate
- Nokia Startups Mistake #6 – Not Being Close to The Customer
- Nokia Startups Mistake #7 – Minimum Viable Product
- Nokia Startups Mistake #8 – The Product-Market Misfit
- Nokia Startups Mistake #9 – The Arrogant A**hole
- Nokia Startups Mistake #10 – Go-To-Market Strategy
- The Nokia Startups Mistakes Series Summary
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I hope you will enjoy this series, and the discussion it triggers.P.S. I also want to voice out, before anyone brings it forward, that some of the best startups I have seen lately are Nokia-based, and thus not all Nokia-based startups share these mistakes while most do. P.P.S. I do wish that the Nokia corporation will rise and shine again some day. I just so much enjoyed the catchy ashes part (which indeed is a fact given Nokia’s downslide from #1 market position) in the title but don’t want anyone to get offended by that. If you did get offended, please stop reading now as this blog is not for faint-hearted.