EGO Trap: The Number One Reason Most Startups Fail

In this article, I talk about ego trap and why is the of the top reasons why majority of startups fail.

Written by: David Oragui

Published: February 01 2019


A lot of startup founders have the ego the size of Germany. There’s a 90% failure rate with startups. People get too attached to THEIR idea. THEIR path. THEIR vision. THEIR product. THEIR EGO. 

My friend, who we’ll call Billy, used to run a email hosting company. He was initially the CEO. They were recently acquired by a large hosting company. But that’s not what this post’s about. 

I was talking to Billy on Thursday, and there’s one thing I realized. It’s perhaps the reason why you’ll make that same mistake (that will lead you to failure and regret). 

Again Forget about your ego when you’re making business decisions. Don’t make decisions when you’re mad, or angry, or too happy. Or too exited. 

Instead, have a clear goal (for example: grow sales to 2 new customers a week). Whatever you do, make sure it gets your closer to the goal. 

Focus on that one goal and check your ego out the door, you’ll get there easier, faster and with less stress. 

Months flew by and Billy realized that early on, he wasn’t the best match as the CEO. Billy doesn’t have a big ego. Nor does Larry Page.

Billy’s partner, who we’ll call Joey, was the COO at the time. Bill and Joey were starting to realize Joey was a better fit for CEO. 

They did what most startups have trouble doing. Bill forgot about his ego, and made Joey the CEO. They were acquired for 30 million a few years after. 

My ego has screwed me over a lot. I can’t remember what I gained from it, apart from ambition. 

But I do know I would have been $5 million richer had I forgotten about it while making decisions.


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