“Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Face”

Bill Gross, founder of Idealab, “used to think the idea was everything.” After all, that’s why he named his company the way he did. But as he watched hundreds of start-ups both succeed and fail, he began to wonder whether the idea really was enough to guarantee success.

In response, he set out to determine what makes start-ups succeed by looking at five key factors – the idea, the team, the business model, the funding and timing – across 100 Idealab companies and 100 non-Idealab companies, some of which failed and some of which were wildly successful.

The findings were quite interesting, especially for an idea man!

Ideas came in third and accounted for only 28% of the difference between success and failure. The number one factor was Timing. Number two was the Team. Business model followed in fourth with Funding coming in dead last.

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