There’s a lot stacked against you as an entrepreneur. Around every corner is a startup killer, ready to take everything away, leaving you and your new business in the dirt. But if you recognize these threats, you can avoid them and step out of the darkness, safe and sound, hand-in-hand with your successful startup.

The Marginal Niche Nightmare

This startup killer stalks the entrepreneur who is afraid of competition, the one who is cornering a market so small that there isn’t enough of an audience to sustain costs. This entrepreneur may have found a solution to a problem, but that problem is so specific, they’ll likely not carve out enough of a market to make it worth it.

Bad Programmer Boogeymen

Exceptional programmers are the heroes your project needs. Unfortunately bad programmers are often disguised as good ones. This hiring mistake can keep development at a standstill or, at best, a lumbering crawl. If the people implementing your idea aren’t doing it with intelligence and passion, you’re sunk before you start.

The Unidentified User

The entrepreneur that doesn’t know his audience is the entrepreneur that can’t build a successful business. Many founders assume that someone will want what they are building. Big mistake. You have to do the research. You have to know exactly who is going to use your products or you’ll quickly find yourself alone at launch.

Stubborn Startup Strangler

The inability to adapt to change will choke the success right out of any endeavor. Strong vision is important, but the inability to recognize the need for evolution is a death nail. Startups should be approached like a science – testing, trials, and feedback. A little openness could give your startup that small tweak that could launch it into the stratosphere.

Slow Launch Lunatic

The launch can be a scary thing. You’re putting your startup or new product out there into the world to be judged, whether it’s embraced or ripped apart. Sitting on your launch date can be dangerous, though. Don’t delay. Launch early, gather feedback, and make the appropriate changes. Beat back the startups killers and keep evolving to keep them at bay.

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CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.