The more I work with startups, the more I’m convinced that they rarely die from the things they do; rather, they die from the things they know they should, but don’t.
Doing the wrong stuff is fixable. If your action isn’t getting the results you want you can always tweak it, or stop doing it altogether.
But, not doing never did anything. And not doing is the most deadly of startup sins.
Not saying no the the hire who isn’t a good fit because you just need. someone. NOW. Not firing them because you’re worried about a ship date, or what the team will say, or not wanting to be “that guy”. Not killing a product or project you know isn’t going anywhere. Not following up on leads. Not speaking up. Not trusting yourself enough to act when you know it’s the right thing to do.
The sins that require action are hard to ignore. Sins of doing the wrong things in the wrong amounts create friction and movement in one direction or the other.
But sins of omission move effortlessly. You’ll never even notice them.
Sins of omission are the silent killers of startups.