5 powerful tools for startups to slay the dragon

Startups have a famously small rate of survival. 80% of them fail. Why? Mira Wilczek talks about the main reason in this TED talk, but to spare you 10 minutes of your life, she says that most startups fail because they pick the wrong problem to focus on. Now, ask another 100 founders and entrepreneurs from the ecosystem and you will get 100 different answers. Some blame the team, some the timing and others even the ecosystem itself. 

We call this meeting your dragon. Just like in the hero’s journey, you/your startup will have to face your biggest challenge yet and it will most probably be different than any other dragon other startups encounter. This is also where most meet their demise. 

Meeting our dragon happened at different stages for every startup. We encountered it during validation, tech feasability analysis, product-market fit, betas etc. Each time we needed a different approach, but here are 5 tools that helped us slay the dragon no matter when we encountered it.


What it is:

Set of tools and guidelines on problem discovery, interviews and validation. Basically a breakdown of the Design Thinking system that helps innovators solve problems that actually matter.

How it helps:

These are the basis of our whole brainstorming and validation process internally. It has worked wonders and saved us tens of thousands of euros that we would have spent in development. 


What it is:

A detailed view of how loved products like Spotify, Bumble or Docusign organize their user flows. Outlines each clear micro-interaction and moment that you go through without realizing at first how important they are. 

How it helps:

You can now learn from the best on how to structure your own solution and what really makes the difference and converts users to long-term clients. It also helps with splitting your own structure so you can more easily communicate to your designers and developers what to build.


What it is: 

Stackshare provides real-time visibility into all the developer tools, services, and packages you’re using internally, down to the version level, across all your Git repos. In english, it’s easier to track what your tech stack is and how it’s used.

How it helps:

Besides organzing what is usually a mess behind the curtain for most startups, this tool also has a section dedicated to seeing what other companies use in their stack. Ever wondered what Uber was using for notifications or Airbnb for database management?


What it is: Cloud-based automations that integrate with your standard services like Mailchimp, Airtable and others. Easy to set-up and with a powerful free-tier available, both Zapier and Make are great options to simplify processes.

How it helps: From onboarding new hires and posting new blog posts on your site based on your social media, all the way to suplementing a part of your product/service, this is an incredibly powerful tool to rid you of the boring busy-work and have you focus on what matters.

mixpanel ss

What it is: Self-serve analytics that you get to configure with amazing granularity on your app, website, platform etc. Based on those analytics, you get to configure your own dashboard to identify strong and weak points in your user flow.

How it helps: You can now know where exactly you’re losing customers and why. Information is power and now you have the knowledge of what exactly to change in your product to make it work. 

Now you are equipped to go deal with your dragon. If however, you keep getting beat down, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You don’t have to fight this battle on your own and we’ve seen our fair share of beasts (and dealt with them as well). Contact us and we’ll be in touch the same day.

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