How Survivorship Bias Distorts Our View of Successful Entrepreneurs



In our society, we tend to put successful people on a pedestal and ignore millions of people living ordinary lives. We build up successful entrepreneurs as a living image of the American dream and we believe they achieved success because of hard work.

The truth is that these people have reached such heights because of their business intelligence, an unceasing desire for professional success, and of course savvy business connections.

We often ignore the little things they did right and this is the reason most businesses fail in the first 5 years.

In business, you shouldn’t always look to the successful people – you must look at the people who have failed before them so you don’t follow in their footsteps.

Some commonly overlooked details are choosing a state to incorporate your business, marketing to the wrong population, and not thoroughly researching the market.

Ideally, a new company will grow and to one day become a major corporation with worldwide connections. This won’t happen overnight but you need to be prepared to take the plunge.

Your first decision will be to decide which state you want to incorporate your business. Each state has different fees, taxes, and regulations surrounding the industry.

For example, the state of Iowa has the highest corporate taxes in the country at 12%, while one state away in South Dakota there is no corporate taxes. It wouldn’t make sense for a company to pay 12% more when they could move their business a few hundred miles and save tens of thousands of dollars.

Understand your state taxes and determine which states you want to operate from before you start your business.

There are thousands of companies that never got off the ground because they didn’t have a successful marketing campaign.

This isn’t just about marketing to get more customers, it’s also about marketing to get your company at the top of all the internet search engines. This will let people search for your company with ease and in turn provide you with more customers.

When you eventually advertise the company, you will need to know your audience. If you are a technology company you should not be advertising with small print ads in your local newspaper.

Instead, you must use an online advertising campaign to go directly to your prospective clients.

The last step most people miss is that they need to thoroughly research the market for their new business.

You must research the competitors in the market.

Can you realistically compete with them, or will your business be under in a few years?

Can you provide a niche market and sell the rights to a large company?

Does your business front get enough foot traffic?

These are some of the important questions you must answer before breaking into any market.

There are endless questions that can be asked and not all will have answers. However, you should find as many answers as possible to feel confident breaking into your field.