Elevating Business Growth with Enterprise Agility
Dr. Agus Setiawan

PhD Holder and result-oriented Director with 25 years experience with involvement in all levels of Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Managing Project and Product Development. Aside of managing a company, he is also the best corporate trainer and public speaker in seminar and conference.

90% Start-Ups Will Fail, How to Be The 10%?

Since 2015, Forbes has predicted that 90% of start-ups will end up in failure. What key takeaways can we learn from the ones that failed and, most importantly, what insights—in hopes to replicate—can we derive from ones that go through the roof?

These are the 3-2-1 insights from observing what the industries have said:

3 Typical Winning Characteristics

Perfect product-market fit

The simple notion of building start-up should be to serve a certain market with new or improved offers, be it in product or services. Successful founders understand that they don’t need to come up with 100% new, improved products but rather give something of value.

They are obsessed with their customers, hence releasing their products early, with Minimum Viable Product, and continuously iterating with customers’ feedback so their products consistently solving the customers' pain points.

Tokopedia proves this approach. Founded in 2009, Tokopedia reaps a massive growth due it’s fast response to market and customer-centric approach as it keeps launching products that their markets loved. For example, in 2016, Tokopedia released their fintech product, continued with Deals product launch in 2017, GudangPintar TokoCabang in 2019 to both serve buyers and sellers, two of which are the main categories of customers for Tokopedia.

Grows. Fast.

Start-up is expected to grow at an exponential rate. This growth is useful to serve two main purposes: 1) to validate that the business is viable, and 2) to prove as the credibility for further funding stages. Fast growth is what entrepreneurs crave, investors need, and markets want. The key here is find the business that is scalable.

Always be on the lookout

During our Road to I2DIS session with Pak Sukan Makmuri, there was one key takeaway that stick on our mind.

"Many failed entrepreneurs are like a truck driver who only focuses on seeing the rear-view mirror only—glorifying on their past achievements and accolades—without realizing that the road in front of them could be a cliff." – Sukan Makmuri

Pak Sukan was initially talking about the established, market-leader business players, but the insight was also true for start-up founders. Successful founders are always on the lookout, adopting a "dragonfly perspective"-which is a 360 perspective, with multi-faceted views, to understand deeply about their business, the environment, and what could impact their business.

While these insights sound promising, we need to be on the lookout for these common pitfalls:

2 Common Pitfalls

Don't transform into a leader

Start-ups which enjoyed rapid growths can’t sit back easily. Many growing start-ups could still end up in failure as their founders don’t transform into a leader. It is easy to manage your start-up with only 6 employees, operating from your garage. But when the business is growing to a multi-offices business, with more than 1,000 employees under their command, founders need to transform into a leader, think more strategically, and revisit their start-ups vision, mission, and values. Immediately.

Not properly managing cashflows

Throwing a celebratory party and hyping up on a new milestone when founders get approved for their next-round funding could be tempting, but the threat of not managing cash flow properly is lurking. Aside from being the doom of 87% small-businesses, managing cash flow properly is tricky. Founders need to prioritize their expenses which can be turned to assets rather than spending recklessly.

1 Actionable Strategy

Understanding the winning insights and jotting down the lessons learned are necessary, but what could be better than an actionable strategy? Multimatics introduces a Digital Innovation Strategy framework to guide companies in applying proven Digital Innovation strategies to reshape their business in this constant, changing world.

Find out more about Multimatics Digital Innovation Strategy at Indonesia International Digital Innovation Summit 2021 on December 16th, 2021!

Secure Your seat Now! FREE registration at

Patel, N. (2015). 90% of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%. Forbes. Viewed on:
Gleeson, B. (2016). 7 Reasons Why 90% of Start-ups and How To Be The 10%. Forbes. Viewed on:
NA. (2021). Tokopedia. Wikipedia page. Viewed on:

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