Garry Tan

Garry Tan quotes on failure

Founder Initialized. PM/designer/eng turned Forbes Midas List Top 100 VC in startups worth over $40B, before product-market fit.

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Why is every startup a 10 year overnight success? 80% of new businesses fail in the first 5 years. Another 80% fail in the next 5 years. If you can last 10 years your business is in the top 4% of cos that are still kicking. If you start, be ready to commit for 10 years.


I did an analysis of the dead startups I invested in the past 5 years and the two most common causes are: 1/ People didn’t want X (not a problem or not good enough solution) 2/ People wanted it but weren’t willing to pay Y (low gross margin) Both totally solvable before 💀


If you get slept on, it’s ok. Keep working. Throw that rejection letter on the fire in your heart and burn brighter.


A lot of people worry when they try and fail, that failure will hang around their neck forever The lucky reality is that nobody cares! You will be remembered if you help a lot of people or make something great, but as long as you don’t hurt anyone else the downside is nil.


80% of startup failure = spending too much money, not working hard, bad product, not doing enough sales, not charging enough, hiring poorly


Sometimes the best strategy when you and another startup have exactly the same name is: Keep working on your startup. Most other startups die, so as long as you succeed and they die, that'll be a clean resolution to a name collision, often in the course of just a year or two. 🎀


Startups are not like school projects. If you miss a critical part of a project you get a B. If you miss a part w/ a startup, you get an F.


Death of high fliers Oyster and Quirky should be a warning to all startups. Great brand and top line growth is not enough. Get profitable.


Spend too little and you might not raise more capital but you can get profitable, then grow from cash flow. Spend too much? You are dead.


One thing I am starting to realize is if you can’t get either, the founder is better off cutting burn and starting over (or shutting down) One of the hardest convos in the life of any startup Sometimes you just know. But sometimes your friends have to nudge you. Never easy.

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