37 criteria for a startup to be successful

Don’t you always believe you’ll succeed? There are several factors that can determine whether a startup will be successful, and we have compiled them below.

Table of Contents

Criteria for successful founders and team

The criteria list that’s necessary for building and growing successful founders and strong teams:

  1. Founded by more than one person – ideally 2 or 3.
  2. Founders are likeable and have “shine,” which attracts talent, capital, and customers to the company.
  3. Founders each have their area of expertise. One might have a technical background, and one might have a commercial background.
  4. Founders have traits such as optimism, self-motivation, drive, stubbornness, diligence, hard work, intelligence, and self-criticism.
  5. Founders have worked together in the past.
  6. It is more important for founders to focus on doing business than telling their story on Instagram.
  7. Behind the words there is action, it doesn’t end with just talk.
  8. Founders has previous experience building, operating and scaling startups.
  9. They are fully committed to this project.
  10. There is an ambitious, hard-working culture where everyone aims for “the end goal”.
  11. The management is not afraid to hire people who are smarter, more skilled and more specialized than those in different fields.
  12. You must be willing to delegate responsibility to your team members.
  13. Being able to stay focused, even when many decisions need to be made.

Criteria for successful performance

  1. Focuses on executing rather than making big business plans, but rather making a fast – but good – pitch deck.
  2. Ability to change products and business models based on feedback.
  3. Open to launching with an MVP solution rather than a full-featured solution.
  4. Focus on the expertise it has; outsource the rest to its team or externally.
  5. The company never thinks of its product as finished, but rather as an ongoing development and optimization process.
  6. Only scales when business and market fit has been proven.
  7. There is a balance in the focus between the areas; Product development must not lag behind when marketing scales up, etc.
  8. Recognizes its competitors, lets themselves be inspired by them, and responds to their presence.
A successful startup is like playing chess.
Building a successful startup is like playing chess. You need to have a good strategy to win.

Criteria for successful market and business

  1. Differentiating your business from your competitors could be through technology, service, payment model, etc.
  2. Before scaling widely, the goal is to dominate and “own” one niche area within the business area.
  3. You have to be 10x better than your competition. The worst thing about your business must be the best thing your competitors have.
  4. Your product must be simple and straightforward to sell.
  5. The product should fill a need before launch, not after it is launched; It should either save people money, save them time, make them more efficient, or improve their quality of life.
  6. Customers recommend it and are loyal and come back to the business.
  7. The media covers it positively, and social media is positive.
  8. There is a mature market that is ready for the product; it has been timed correctly.
  9. Growing markets give off a positive multiplier effect

Criteria for successful economy

  1. Have control over when financing is to be used.
  2. Be able to control all the numbers in the business; cash flow, budgets, and bank balances.
  3. If there are already investors in, then it is a positive sign if they participate in the next round.
  4. “Unit economics” can always be controlled.

Other criteria

  1. Good validation, which may consist of having participated in one of the leading accelerator/incubator programs that are in the country or globally.
  2. Have a network, mentor or similar attached that you can spar with on your journey.
  3. Don’t work yourself to death. As a startup, success requires hard work and dedication. However, success will not last if you are stressed halfway through.

Are you sitting now and have checked all the points and just think “it is us, it is our startup that is described here!” Well, that’s amazing! Then you are flying and have a super good starting point for success with your startup.

Maybe you could check a few points off? Don’t worry – it does not mean that you can not succeed with your startup. It is perfectly okay not to be able to check all the points off at the beginning of your journey. On the other hand, consider whether there are the critical and essential points that you need to check, because then it may be that you need to adapt your mindset and the structure of the company. Otherwise, it will probably work! Just make sure you can argue about what you have thought about the individual points, what you want to do about it and how you see it in relation to your business.

Do you think we are missing a point? Do you have any comments on the post – drop me a message on LinkedIn right here. Also feel free to send your pitch here.

Mike Vestergaard

Mike Vestergaard

Serial Entrepreneur. CEO of DIGURA and NewDeal Invest. Has a huge obsession with podcasts and books. He recommends you should read "The 100% Startup" and listen to "My first million".

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