It's been a long time since I wrote about startups, and I thought it would be a good idea to help those of you with the idea of launching a startup in 2023 to set their expectations right. So, here's my default list of simple things I always share with would-be startup founders when they're asking what to expect. They might seem a bit harsh, but you know me, it's coming from a good place πŸ€—

1) Most startups fail

Sure, this one is a downer. But hey, let's face this head-on as soon as possible. And I understand that most stats communicated by startup programs, incubators, studios, and accelerators are always very optimistic. They're not lying-lying; they focus on convenient metrics to tell you that more than 80% of the startups they helped have succeeded. The reality is that most projects are barely scrapping by in zombie mode, chasing subs and public subsidiaries until they have to fold.

I'm not starting with this sad news to discourage you. On the contrary, you need to get in with clear expectations. In any big European city, you'll find many excellent startup specialists and resources to help you launch. It's just that the overall system doesn't care so much about your practical success (i.e., turning a profit and growing a business around innovation within a few years) as much as about you raising money. This is where most private actors make their living and, sadly enough, the only metric that public actors seem to care about.

Just be prepared. Help and resources are plentiful. But they will always be slightly misaligned with your objectives–slightly to vastly, depending on who we are talking about.

In any case, adjust expectations accordingly. Β