Why Startups Fail (Malaysia Edition)

Main Event Takeaways

May 17th, 2022

Shelby Tee, Managing Partner of Blackstorm Consulting, moderated a discussion with Paddy Tan, ST Rubaneswara, and Dash Dhakshinamoorthy to share their insights on the topic of the day—Why Startups Fail: Malaysia Edition. The event was organised by Xprenia, a Singapore-based e-learning platform that features industrial insights.
This event's discussion is on a topic that would excite many readers and aspiring entrepreneurs in Malaysia. Before you jump right into this entrepreneurial journey, stop and ponder why startups fail.

Malaysia is such a huge and vibrant country, littered with many opportunities waiting for the brave to capitalise on it but many startups have tried and failed. Shelby Tee started the conversation by asking the panel what they thought were the common factors for a startup's failure.
The mindset that has been instilled in us through the years has been to learn, learn, learn before doing.

Entrepreneurship, on the other hand, requires us to do and learn at the same time, or even to do it first before learning
Dash Dhakshinamoorthy, Founder of Startup Malaysia
When a company raises funds, it exposes itself to many critics who will point out flaws that the founders and staff may have or may not have noticed. As a result, the company could modify and improve to position itself in the market better and succeed." 
ST Rubaneswaran, CEO of Beyond4

Event Highlight: An Overview of Startup Failure

Paddy Tan believes that startup founders are extremely cautious. He meant that founders frequently overcomplicate situations and overanalyse solutions, paralysing their decision-making process. As a result, their company died too soon.

He further explains that overthinking and overcomplicating your solution sometimes does more harm than good. He felt that seizing the opportunity was much more vital. Dash went on to say that businesses should pay more attention to the market since he believes it is the best teacher. Monitoring how well the market receives your product might provide you with more insights than anything else.

With this as a starting point, interesting conversations proceeded. Here’s the summary of the discussions:

#01 Learning from mistakes

Next, Shelby asked the panel yet another important question.

How should entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes? What are some suggestions for helping them learn from their failures more effectively?

ST Rubaneswaran had the following to say:
  • Learn about the key startup pitfalls and avoid them
  • Make use of the startup ecosystem and be aware of it
  • Ecosystems are advantageous since they can connect you with mentors
  • Recognise that your startup's ecosystem is fundamental to its survival.

Dash also brought up an important point. Mindset. He said that we had been taught to learn before doing our entire lives. However, to succeed as an entrepreneur, we must be able to learn while doing or even do it before learning. Shelby went on to say that to grow, we sometimes must unlearn things.

#02 Upskilling

Shelby then asked the panel how entrepreneurs might acquire the necessary skill sets to take their businesses to the next level. Dash responded that no single skill set is suited for every entrepreneur. He went on to say that entrepreneurs should be adaptable, flexible, and willing to step outside their comfort zone. This would allow them to learn a diverse set of skills that would be useful in various settings.

Paddy Tan believes that selling is an extremely important skill for any entrepreneur. He went on to say that the founder must be able to show and persuade the market that their company is valuable.

#03 Building relationships

But how should a lone entrepreneur find a partner? According to Dash, the partner must first be impressed with or appreciate your business. Then a partnership built on trust and integrity will begin. After a solid and stable partnership, they can gradually embrace the partner as a co-founder.

#04 Preparation for scaling 

Finally, Shelby inquired about what kind of planning a company should undertake to scale and expand. ST Rubaneswaran stated that money is necessary for a company's growth and expansion. The funding process also exposes the company to criticism, highlighting weaknesses that the founder may have ignored or just did not consider. This gives the company time to adjust and make changes in preparation for the expansion. This procedure would allow for smoother and more steady growth, allowing the company to prosper.

Why Startups Fail

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Wrap Up
All in all, as an entrepreneur, failure should not scare you. Instead, we should accept failure with open arms and instead learn as much as we can from them to place ourselves in a more experienced position for us to succeed in our next business venture. If you missed the live event or want to watch the replay, we have a recording ready for you to access anytime!
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Featured Event

Why Startups Fail
(Malaysia Edition)

This event's discussion is on a topic that would excite many readers and aspiring entrepreneurs in Malaysia. Before jumping right into this entrepreneurial journey, stop and ponder why startups fail.

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