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If failure means liquidating all assets, with investors losing most or all the money they put into the company, then the failure rate for start-ups is 30 to 40 percent, according to Shikhar Ghosh, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School who has held top executive positions at some eight technology-based start-ups. If failure refers to failing to see the projected return on investment, then the failure rate is 70 to 80 percent. And if failure is defined as declaring a projection and then falling short of meeting it, then the failure rate is a whopping 90 to 95 percent.

Harvard Business School

I think this all comes down to definitions though. Is a ‘Start up’ different to a ‘Business’? And if so, how? Also, the HBS stuff above only accounts for startups with investors. If you include startups that never got investors, the number would be WAY higher. I’d guess around 99.9% of people that try to get a start up running never do. Lots of false starts and wasted time.

To me, ‘Startup’ means a solution looking for a problem. If a business starts up addressing an audience who want to pay to have a problem solved, they’re just called a business…