It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. – Bill Gates

Dave McClure recently dug into the data behind startups that have died, and came up with 51 Startup Failure Post-Mortems in order to help startups learn from the mistakes of their peers.

The most interesting thing about Dave’s post is that there is a clear pattern and similar mistakes that lead to the demise of the startups profiled. A rudimentary statistical analysis of the post-mortems establishes that this is the case.

The result of this analysis is 51 words (pictured above) that every startup should think of everyday, write it on their door posts and on their foreheads, or perhaps just frame it. It’s that important.


The analysis’ assumptions:
1. minimum words frequency used was 4
2. The following similar words were combined:

  • Venture and VC’s
  • Focus and Focused
  • build and building

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be. — John Wooden

Francis Onwumere Author

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