3 Common Mistakes About IT Startups And How To Avoid Them

IT specialists

IT technologies now spread into all spheres of our life, from everyday work to public finances.

Often we have distortion of reality in management of IT projects, which can lead to failures. Here we will try to name some common mistakes about IT startups which people usually make when beginning to invest their time and money.


1. Too shallow classification. The first mistake comes from the name or definition of the project in question itself: often any project with participation of the IT developers gets the status of IT project.

For example if one needs to create a portal about management of finance or you develop service on the basis of open data, with a high probability your team will be called IT specialists, and the project will be accounted as information technologies project.

Thus the wrong name of the ship often brings it into shallow water and doesn't allow to make a sail to big open ocean of opportunities. Because  in a narrow sense the IT project means accurately planned and documented technical work.

Ask yourself: whether the real the purpose of your project is limited to develop the software, build the site and run it on the selected  hardware? Or these tasks are important and statutory, but are parts of something bigger?

For example, the goal is not only to create the software, but thanks to given software to reduce corruption level in your city or to cut down transport expenses.

It is very important to  identify yourself correctly on a stage of initiation of the project.

popular brands2. Too popular business. Higher educational institutions already endured boom of economists and lawyers. Today latter were succeeded by IT specialists.

Certainly, for this purpose there are objective reasons: perspectives of IT are huge, and crisis of other branches demands experts to either retrain, or to automate management processes. Good and professional IT specialists are necessary everywhere.

Besides, the success stories of startups give to hope to many people.

But very few people remember that 99% of startups die: because of startup founders can't visualize the idea for the investors, others remain without team and financing, someone turns into "a bag without handle".

In the broad understanding the "management of the project" includes processes of initiation, planning, execution and control. In any project the balance of these processes, their coherence is important.

You can do the IT project, but you are obliged to know of finances and risks, marketing and sales, advertising and PR. If you have no such competence or the person with such competence, you risk to remain just with the "code", the documented IT works and an unsolicited product.


free3. It has to be free! or It can't cost so much!.

It is strange to face the opinion that work of professionals should be underpaid. People who create something for you, they put the part of their life in the initiatives.

They pay for the journey on the transport to reach a work place, operate the home laptops and printers, and sometimes directly invest in the projects their own money. Time of each specialist has the price and value. Also the projects are done in buildings which are billed for power supply and central heating.

People who work at offices, develop programs, work with documents, have tables, chairs and computers. Any software development or technical assistance usually demands subsequent purchases of licenses, payment for maintenance, updating and support.

The second extreme point of view - "it is very expensive". In managing finances, it is important to estimate all costs of project correctly beforehand.

Nowadays many people think: if it is necessary for me to buy, the snow-removing machine, I will consider that it will cost as much, as specified in the invoice for its purchase. Plus shipping, registration costs and insurance.

But this is the biggest mistake. Instead, if you need that the machine will do its work - clean snow, you need the driver with a salary, regular technical inspection, repair is also necessary. The garage, light and utility bill payments, the accountant service, regular medical examination of the driver are also necessary. Not to mention fuel, oil change, replacement of wheels and other parts.

When we do an unbiased calculations, how much costs needed to have the snow-removing machine, we will receive absolutely other order of magnitude for the numbers. And when we honestly and openly declare, what costs are of our IT project, it causes a storm of bad and negative emotions. Do we really believe, what our project will be "free"?


We can successfully avoid these mistakes early if we ask ourselves often the correct questions, study, communicate and trust each other.


What do you think about common mistakes the startup founders often do? Write your opinion in comments!