Summary of The Five Fatal Mistakes of Startups

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The Five Fatal Mistakes of Startups summary
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It’s natural for new businesses to fail, but failure is often avoidable. Experienced investors Henry Kressel and Norman Winarsky outline the five biggest mistakes start-up companies make. Intended as a “manifesto” to save young companies from pitfalls, this guidebook is short and informative. Kressel and Winarsky’s advice can sound harsh or counterintuitive at times, but they boil down the essential factors that allow a start-up to run smoothly. Their treatise will make you question common start-up conventions and reconsider what tends to work and what doesn’t. getAbstract recommends their advice to entrepreneurs, investors and anyone thinking about starting a company.

About the Authors

Henry Kressel is a special limited partner at the private equity firm Warburg Pincus. Norman Winarsky is past president of research institute SRI Ventures. They co-wrote If You Really Want to Change the World.



Most start-ups fail. Whether you’re part of a start-up now or considering a new venture, mind these five fatal mistakes to position your business for success:

  1. “Failing to know your customer” – Even with a groundbreaking product, you need “domain knowledge” and customer experience; otherwise, you won’t sell a thing. Wireless communications start-up PacketHop, a spin-off of SRI Ventures, developed an innovative and potentially life-saving communications method for firefighters by “creating a wireless network that hopped from handheld device to handheld...

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