Startup Troubles? It May be Second Startup Syndrome

Second Startup Syndrome is a condition based on the compulsive need for a company to pattern its second startup – identically – after the first.

The warning signs are alarming, and the outcomes are downright scary. These entrepreneurs often skip vital steps in the startup development process, opting to go with other, more glamorous options like strategy and long-term decisions. As the author advises, “it’s usually a very bad idea to start building [a house] with the roof.” Or without a foundation, for that matter.

Second Startup Syndrome symptoms include:

  • The company assumes that the initial product will succeed and be universally lauded, thereby ignoring the development of the core product model.
  • The company obsesses over mistakes that happened in their previous venture, focusing too much on hurdles that may not even apply to their new startup.
  • The company glosses over details that, while inconsequential to their last startup, may have a meaningful impact on their new venture.

The author saves the best symptom for last, however. The most obvious sign of Second Startup Syndrome? A lack of anxiety.

Contributing Author

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