Business Model F*ckUpStartups

Don’t Let That One Thing F*ck Your Startup’s Success

By February 1, 2022 No Comments
  • I have got that one big client; all we do is keep them happy and drive shiny rides
  • Oh, come on! We are the only contractors serving these 5-6 businesses. Sell and spend like Arabs. 
  • I don’t work for those small paychecks. I am in only for the biggest fishes and greenest pastures. Who wants peanuts when you can have diamonds for breakfast!

This sounds cool for an Instagram post but trust me; only post-pubescent teens are going to agree with it. Yes, having the larger slice of the pizza is damn good but trying to bet all your money on one thing is how you f*ck your business. You have that one big client who gives you 95% of your revenue? They will make you dance to their whims and fancies, make you agree to everything that comes out of their minds, and gag you whenever they feel like doing so. 

Yes, we are talking about being overly dependent on one particular thing for your entire business’s survival. And that’s not limited to having one or two goddamn clients; it can be a single production machine, employee, or even a vendor. Having no replacement for something very critical to your success should send shivers down your spine. 

Just imagine that you built an application that helps click amazing pictures on the iPhone, and it became a hit. Three months down the line, that 30% share Apple takes away starts seeming too meaty to let go unnoticed. It’s a lot of money, and you decide to accept payments on your website, but of course, Apple doesn’t like that. They remove your app from the app store, and you are left with a bunch of Redditors supporting you. What are you going to do now? Whine and get a gofundme link?

Something similar happened with Epic, and believe me, this is as common as shit and toilet paper! This is called codependency collapse or a single point of failure (SPOF.) This is a very common hazard for startups because, hey, we start when we grab something promising for the first time. In most cases, the first client is someone whose payments can fund operations, still leave profit, and help you take a chill pill. But, it may not be the best thing for your startup when considered practically.

Suppose they are among the biggest guns, bang! You may focus a bit too much on meeting their expectations. In the case of an employee that happens to be the only hero in your camp, they start acting like the boss at your business. Remember Achilles from Troy, aka Brad Pitt? You don’t want to be that Agamemnon, right? 

If you created the camera app, you should’ve made one for Android too. Simple. This way, you still stay in the game and don’t have to wait for Stimulus cheques to pay for that lawyer fighting your case with a trillion-dollar baby. 

Yes, diversification is how you deal with codependency collapse at your startup. No matter how big their paycheck is, you have got to find someone else. If they’re not going to pay as much, find two. Not yet enough? Find three, four, f*cking five- whatever it takes to end the dependency. 

Don’t be too nice and say yes to everything they say; there’s more fish out there- save your time and energy to serve a larger mass. And most importantly, keep your staff happy and yourself relaxed, reassured. Let them do what you hired them to do and keep their backups ready. Still want to learn more, go read my book

Kim Hvidkjaer

Kim Hvidkjaer

I’m a father, author, speaker as well as multi-disciplinary serial entrepreneur and investor. I started my first company at age 19, and have built and invested in companies in innumerable industries.

Weekly wisdom on startups - you can read in 5 minutes, for free. 
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