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Why Startups Fail: Here’s the 20 Most Common Reasons

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For anyone who launches a new venture, there’s a grim reality involved: eventually 90% of startups bite the dust, and 51% of all businesses die off within a period of five years.

While failure is not fatal, there’s definitely no harm in stacking the odds in your favor in the first place. With some proper insight and critical thinking, the chance of a venture’s success can be increased by mitigating some of the most common startup risks.

That’s why it is not enough to know how many startups fail – we must know why startups fail.

CB Insights, a venture capital database, did their homework based on 101 startup post-mortems to pin down causes on why startups failed. Here’s the results in infographic form:

Why Startups Fail

Why Startups Fail: Here's the 20 Most Common Reasons

The most common reason for startups to meet the grim reaper was a dreaded lack of “product/market fit”.

In other words, a startup was unable to satisfy a real market need with its product. Famed investor Marc Andreessen says that product/market fit is so important, that the lifespan of a startup can be broken up into two parts: before product/market fit, and after the fit is achieved. Once it is obtained, it’s a game-changer that increases the chance of success tremendously.

Presumably, the startups that never achieve such a fit end up in the graveyard. The analysis from CB Insights above agrees, showing 42% of startups fail because they do not solve a real market need.

The two other major reasons why startups fail include running out of cash (29%) as well as not having the right team (23%).

Inevitably, there’s no changing the fact that the vast majority of startups will meet their bitter end. That said, a better understanding of the above causes of failure may help to mitigate the risks of any new venture. And even if a startup does meet its maker, the founder may still have another shot: failed entrepreneurs often find more success the second time around.

As Winston Churchill says: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Original graphic by: Lance Surety Bond Associates

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Ranked: Semiconductor Companies by Industry Revenue Share

Nvidia is coming for Intel’s crown. Samsung is losing ground. AI is transforming the space. We break down revenue for semiconductor companies.

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A cropped pie chart showing the biggest semiconductor companies by the percentage share of the industry’s revenues in 2023.

Semiconductor Companies by Industry Revenue Share

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Did you know that some computer chips are now retailing for the price of a new BMW?

As computers invade nearly every sphere of life, so too have the chips that power them, raising the revenues of the businesses dedicated to designing them.

But how did various chipmakers measure against each other last year?

We rank the biggest semiconductor companies by their percentage share of the industry’s revenues in 2023, using data from Omdia research.

Which Chip Company Made the Most Money in 2023?

Market leader and industry-defining veteran Intel still holds the crown for the most revenue in the sector, crossing $50 billion in 2023, or 10% of the broader industry’s topline.

All is not well at Intel, however, with the company’s stock price down over 20% year-to-date after it revealed billion-dollar losses in its foundry business.

RankCompany2023 Revenue% of Industry Revenue
1Intel$51B9.4%
2NVIDIA$49B9.0%
3Samsung
Electronics
$44B8.1%
4Qualcomm$31B5.7%
5Broadcom$28B5.2%
6SK Hynix$24B4.4%
7AMD$22B4.1%
8Apple$19B3.4%
9Infineon Tech$17B3.2%
10STMicroelectronics$17B3.2%
11Texas Instruments$17B3.1%
12Micron Technology$16B2.9%
13MediaTek$14B2.6%
14NXP$13B2.4%
15Analog Devices$12B2.2%
16Renesas Electronics
Corporation
$11B1.9%
17Sony Semiconductor
Solutions Corporation
$10B1.9%
18Microchip Technology$8B1.5%
19Onsemi$8B1.4%
20KIOXIA Corporation$7B1.3%
N/AOthers$126B23.2%
N/ATotal $545B100%

Note: Figures are rounded. Totals and percentages may not sum to 100.


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Meanwhile, Nvidia is very close to overtaking Intel, after declaring $49 billion of topline revenue for 2023. This is more than double its 2022 revenue ($21 billion), increasing its share of industry revenues to 9%.

Nvidia’s meteoric rise has gotten a huge thumbs-up from investors. It became a trillion dollar stock last year, and broke the single-day gain record for market capitalization this year.

Other chipmakers haven’t been as successful. Out of the top 20 semiconductor companies by revenue, 12 did not match their 2022 revenues, including big names like Intel, Samsung, and AMD.

The Many Different Types of Chipmakers

All of these companies may belong to the same industry, but they don’t focus on the same niche.

According to Investopedia, there are four major types of chips, depending on their functionality: microprocessors, memory chips, standard chips, and complex systems on a chip.

Nvidia’s core business was once GPUs for computers (graphics processing units), but in recent years this has drastically shifted towards microprocessors for analytics and AI.

These specialized chips seem to be where the majority of growth is occurring within the sector. For example, companies that are largely in the memory segment—Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron Technology—saw peak revenues in the mid-2010s.


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