[Also published at nextbigwhat here: http://www.nextbigwhat.com/aap-startup-scaling-up-297/ ]
We have been seeing many thought leaders and risk takers failing in industry. They are able to gain good traction in the initial days of startup but fail to make it a sustaining phenomenon.
The same happened with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and results are out there, putting Mr. Kejriwal to be one of a good person to be part of the next failcon. Although, we will still wait for Mr. Arvind Kejriwal to take timeout and get out with his failure experience notes but here are some of the points we have observed which are very critical for a startup to consider while in process of turning it into a business.
Too many Co-founders
CoFounders beyond 3 makes decision making tough. AAP was a party of cofounders and failed miserably in taking any decision. Where it lost was lack of leaders having controlling stakes in the decision process while it scaled too quickly to multiple cities. There was no control structure at place.
There was no responsibility ownership inside the organisation and the end result was blame games. An organisation structure is necessary to be made mainly for defining responsibility owners who can not play the blame game. They have to extremely cautious and ready to accept positive or negative blames and act on it.
Too Much Focus on Competition
AAP origin was into picking out problems with other parties. With so less time for go to market, AAPs main concern was always to thrash competition only and not focussing on internal core values and user propositions. This led early adopters to a confusing state since competition was too much strong with strong user propositions and user base already. Result being early adopters too migrated to established players avoiding any risks for future.
Its always advisable to explain your startup in one or maximum two lines. AAP never had any such vision or mission statement. Agenda provided by AAP was also very lose showing indications of lack of any research done behind that.
Too much PR too soon
It is not a hidden fact that AAP was too much of PR hungry than focusing on execution and planning. PR is useful but hunger for PR led to bad marketing as well since there was no media planning as such.
We appreciate Arvind Kejriwal for poking the nation out of slumber but what party required was a better entrepreneur too.