Facing IPO reality now helps you avoid being shocked later.
Yes, aim for the gold medal, then prepare to travel a tough road to get there.
Chances of your idea getting to initial public offering are lottery odds.
Decades of startups have generated the statistics that the likelihood of an idea getting to an initial public offering is 6 in one million. Startup veterans agree, as do their investors, so do I.
You will seldom see in print the high odds against you. Those negative statistics do not make attractive headlines for media that need lots of readers (to watch advertisements). People want to read of successes, the positive, the winners.
Media writers gush over the Cinderella startup years of Apple, Facebook, Google, as well as a long list of life science and consumer startups that have been wildly successful. Unicorns dominate headlines of the current era and their founders are easy to reach to interview. Everyone is eager to tell their founder story (“I made this company an awesome success.”).
Less common are interviews with leaders of the rest of the startups (95 percent), those who are struggling, dying or dead. Their founders are too busy with life support to give precious time to writers who will most assuredly distort the story and paint a black picture that depicts a feeble company lead by an incompetent founder CEO.
It's hard to say goodbye, but the harsh reality is that 70% of startups fail — usually within 20 months after raising initial funding.
Reality reveals most startup leaders are gone in a few years. My data shows founder CEOs should expect not be surprised to be asked to step aside by year three, or earlier.
So get prepared, face reality now, plan your future. You’ll increase your chances of enjoying the ride, avoiding future shock.
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!