New entrepreneurs are usually desperate for sales and don’t want to turn anyone down. They often don’t see how the new business could add complexity to their operations and increases their overhead and their break-even levels. They don’t understand that doing too many things may cause them to be the best at nothing.
They may have an MBA and taken finance classes where they learned that diversification is good. However, they may not have realized that diversification is good for passive portfolios where the investor has no control over the venture. It is not that great for new entrepreneurs who have limited resources. Read more
There is a company called Segway. It was started by an inventor who is considered to be a genius because of the wide variety of successful products he has developed. The investors in Segway were considered to be the premier firms in the venture capital industry. They invested, and lost, about $160 million in the deal (MercuryNews.com, Jan 16, 2010). Why? From what I have read, the investors thought that the world would adopt the Segway as the way to travel in urban areas. Cities were even considering changing zoning laws to give greater access to all the Segway users who never materialized. The hype during the launch was tremendous. But the world did not change its habits. It did what it has always done. When the perceived benefits of a switch did not outweigh the huge costs of buying, they did not buy. There have been comments about how some of the insiders thought that the rest of us were not smart because we did not buy the Segway and change our cities. Maybe we are not. But they are the ones who lost $160 million. Read more