Why Your Startup is Failing

Investment, experience, an Agile product development process. None of these things matter.

Using my own experience building a profitable business, Scribe, as well as drawing upon the latest science & case studies on companies doing things differently, I will argue that success or failure as a business depends on, at its core, the quality of our decision-making.

Whether it be a decision to hire a new employee or to build a new feature, the better decisions we make, the greater chance of succeeding as a product team and as a business.

Yet what makes a good decision? They are nuanced. They are hard to quantify. They come from our thoughts, our beliefs, the culture we find ourselves working in.

Ultimately, cultivating high-quality decision-making comes from focusing on:

  1. Yourself
  2. Your team
  3. The right process


Your decisions stem from you as an individual — how you think, your beliefs, how you interpret the world around you.

To make great decisions on a consistent basis, we must therefore focus on improving how we think & what we believe.

To do that, we must cultivate the following three pillars:

  1. Be robust, so we are better able to persevere through difficulty and failures
  2. Be more mindful, so we are better able to see things clearly & rationally
  3. Focus on what is truly important - what is essential - to separate the important from the trivial and thus make high-impact decisions


Yet to allow high-quality decision-making to flourish in a team, we must do away with the overwork, stress & unhappy work environment that modern work culture propagates.

And in order to make great decision as a team, we must apply the specific strategies & tactics — ones outlined in the book — to make our team robust, mindful & focused on the essential


Once we have a strong foundation for individual & collective decision-making, who are effectively able to make clear, rational, high-impact decisions, we can then apply the right process to guide our decision-making.

That process, outlined in the book & based upon lean methodology, focuses our efforts as a product team - as well as as a business - to build better products, faster.

It focuses our efforts on actually delivering enough value for our customers that they are willing to pay for our product, and freeing ourselves of the daily, low-impact grind of constantly trying to simply get more done each day.

Individuals who are robust, who are mindful & who are able to focus on the essential.

A team that values & optimises for impact over simply getting more done.

A process that helps us, through experimentation and constant feedback, to progress towards building a profitable business built.

These are the foundations for long-term success.

These are what really matter.

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Henry Latham

Henry Latham

Founder, Prod MBA

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