Why do start-ups fail (part-1)

There are so many reasons why startups fail. It would be lengthy. Let me divide it into 2 parts.

I joined a startup fresh out of college. I wanted to work for a startup as the hype for startup was just started. Not much that I knew about startup, I was way too excited to join one. we were a service company. We built a platform for logistics company. Alongside, we started building our product line. It was a dream product for our CEO. The concept was great. Very similar to ZOHO. We had multiple services integrated with centralized code as a product. Which was amazing right. It was, Until the reality hit.

Factors that influenced the most

  1. Design

Why is design important?

I will try to explain, why is it important to have a good design. All of us hate government websites and banking websites the most. This is because of the usability and user experience. Still users end up using banking apps because we cannot help it much. Since the introduction of fintech companies, It has eased out the process.

We were given the same example of Banking and government website when one of the team members suggested that we can improve on user experience and reduce the steps. “People will still use it, if it adds value to user life” said our CEO. We targeted B2B. I was working for a different project back then. When I moved to the new product team, I was asked to do testing. I took the KT from the team and started testing. I still had doubts in the process flow and went on to ask doubts multiple times. To create a task, the user had to understand the technical aspect a bit. Otherwise, the user would get confused and re-iterate the flow back and forth multiple times. The core component was the same for 4 process flows. The platform supported ticketing system, task creation and assignment, and other 2, I cannot recall.

Once the team was asked to rate the application we built with all the pride based on “user experience”. I remember I said, 7 out of 10. Everybody else said 9 and 10. Only one person said 1. We were shocked to hear that. I realize now with experience behind the rating.

We have come far on accessibility design. It will be a drawback if we fail to impress the user on the application experience.

Let us see what is good design and bad design is like.

Good design

  1. A good design should make the user life easy.
  2. It should address the user pain point.
  3. The user experience should be pleasing and fascinating to use.
  4. The color combination has to opt and should not irritate eyes

Below image defines the design fundamentals to be considered to design any system.

Design fundamentals. src-google

Example of good design

pasta strainer src-google

The simple extendable silicon piece of container is attached to the steel utensil. It not only strain the water from pasta, but also holds the pasta from falling into the sink in the process of draining. A simple design can avoid vexatious process.

Example of bad design

bad design src-google

The chair manufacturing must have used the best material possible yet it is not solving the purpose or user pain point. Instead, the user might face posture difficulties and never get comfortable to use.

Example of interesting design with factor of attraction

Toilet sign src-google

The designer has taken an extra bit of effort to make it innovative than having a convention design.

Design is a never-ending process. There is always a scope for improvement.

We will see how design plays an important role in making any digital products a success. Let us assume a signup form. We will list down all the fields that need to be captured to onboard a customer. Find the sample form in the image below.

This image is a typical traditional signup form. Long and needs time to fill in the form. I want you to stop for a moment and take a Pause before reading the next content and think of how this form can be improved. It could be the design, pattern, color, input fields, etc.

Let’s see what best have we come so far.

We can eliminate most of the fields and simplify with only 3 or 4 input fields and the option to login through either Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter.

Form 1 Src: Google

This is a compact signup form capturing 2 pieces of information. Which is elegant and compact. We can even reduce the information piece to minimal fields

Form 2 Src: Google

Our design should focus on making the user’s life easy. We commonly come across the terms UI/UX. They are not the same however very similar. Here is an example to make it understand.

Consider the form 2. Which is easy and user friendly to use. Which is satisfying the needs of a UI. Imagine you are trying to signup and clicking on the “Done” button. It does not take you to the landing page which in turn gets stuck at the loading phase. Which typically fails to give the user the experience needed. So we failed at UX.

We can now define UI and UX

“UX design refers to user experience design, while UI design stands for user interface design. Both of these are crucial to an IT product and need to work closely together.
Despite being very integral to each other, the roles themselves are quite different, involving distinct processes.” — hackernoon.com

In shorter terms, UI what you see on the screen. UX is that, which makes the experience better.


A good design not only gives a better experience to the user, it is much more than that.

  1. It adds value to the product and services
  2. Keeps the user engaged
  3. Stimulate sales growth

A good design can trigger user empathy. Until we empathize with the user, better product cannot be made.

“ Unless you have a wonderful product that does not exist in the market and the product is necessary for the users, we cannot succeed without a good design”