Famous Fails

Here are my personal Top 7 reasons why go-to-market plans fail. It´s somehow in line with Top 20 Reasons for Startup failure from CB-insights.

The Bottom line is: pitfalls are not limited to tech teams in the early stage (or startups). Corporate executives make the same mistakes and quickly get outcompeted by incumbents or traditional competitors that adapt much faster to the changing way of doing business.

Famous Fails

Even industry visionaries got outcompeted by others that adapted faster to the changing way of doing business.

“500 dollars? Fully subsidized? With a plan? I said that is the most expensive phone in the world. And it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard. Which makes it not a very good email machine.”

“I don’t really worry so much about [AWS], to be very blunt with you. … – We need to worry about ourselves. We’re in a great position.” / Source 

“VOD is further off than we thought it was. We keep monitoring all this stuff, and when it looks like a sustainable profitable model, we can get into these things” / Source 



“Screw the Nano. What the hell does the Nano do? Who listens to 1,000 songs?” / Source

“You can’t get your hand around it, No one’s going to buy that”

Jobs said when Samsung and Google came out with phones larger than the 3.5” original iPhone / Source

“Neither RedBox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition. It’s more Wal-Mart and Apple.” / Source

Some data is easier to access than other.

Data from corporate websites is all public, so there isn’t a problem accessing it. Private data is much harder to get a hold of. Look out for sales reports, news articles, and press releases to see what info businesses are releasing


Gathering data from corporate websites, press releases, public databases, social networks, and investment communities. SEO metrics are easy to get. There’s a range of tools out there that can tell you about a website’s performance.

2. Community

Gathering data from discussions on professional networks like LinkedIn, Quora, and Xing

3. Interviews

Conducting own research allows asking the exact questions you want from the exact people you want. Structured interviews with a hand-picked selection of executives and industry experts can be a costly process, but if done right the returns will outweigh the costs.