Lessons We Can All Learn From Shut-Down Startups

While it may not seem obvious at first glance, startups and live entertainment organizations have a lot in common. They are often on a never-ending quest for funding and need to use smart, scrappy strategies to get their businesses known and profitable.

For that reason, there’s a lot we can learn from startups that failed. Venture Beat reporter Mark Sullivan recently took a look at 12 dead startups and why they went under. Click here to see the full breakdown, or read on for the lessons that are most applicable to live entertainment:

1. Lack of funding/overspending
Having enough money to run your business is a problem across industries, and many of these startups failed simply because they couldn’t secure the funds — or they did and then didn’t spend wisely. Jim has talked before about better ways live entertainment can secure funding as well as how to cut costs in a way that doesn’t hurt your organization.

2. Going after an unproven market/making something people didn’t want
This is a tricky one, because of course as live entertainment makers we want to push the boundaries of the shows we produce. And there has definitely been success for those that do (Hamilton’s comes to mind as a recent example). But there is something to be said for doing a bit of research and considering who will come to the show you’re producing before it starts being made.

3. Focusing more on marketing instead of making a solid product
Marketing is important for a successful event, most definitely. But the other component — an event people want to go to and enjoy once they’re there — is far more important. Several of the failed startups in Sullivan’s article mentioned that they poured too much money into expensive marketing campaigns before they had a viable product for people to use.

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