Founders cite a lack of cash as the no. 1 reason for failure.
This is wrong.
The inability to raise or running out of money IS NOT why you failed.
Running out of/not being able to raise investment is an outcome and not an input for failure. Correlation, causation, blah blah blah.
In good news, the subsequent 3 reasons founders give for why they failed are far more honest:
Cuz 1 of these 3 happened, you ran out of cash or nobody would back you. In today’s funding climate ($156.2 billion with a B last quarter — aka bonkers) where everyone is a unicorn (full list of 784 unicorns here), running out of cash means there was another problem with you, the team, the business, the product, etc.
BTW, I totally get it that it's easier to blame the “markets” or “investors” for your failure.
If only investors had given us more cash, we'd have been successful. It sounds plausible and removes some accountability and makes the sting of failure hurt less.
Money gives you runway.
It doesn’t buy the ability to execute.
In fact, too much money (aka being foie-gras'd) as a startup can be bad for you.
Of course, there's a lot to learn from post-mortems, and it is awesome that founders write these.
Here are 378 startup post-mortems if you want to dig into these individually.
And if that’s not enough, and you've not gotten full of fail yet, here are 210 of the biggest and costliest startup failures of all time.