Why do Robotics Startups Fail? There are several reasons why these companies fail. Some entrepreneurs don’t understand the importance of defining and achieving KPIs. For instance, investors are not interested in a startup that fails to show sustained revenue growth and reasonable cost management. Instead, they’re looking for an established company that can deliver on its promises.
While creating KPIs is difficult, even for engineering-minded robotics startups, successful automation companies create specific metrics around customer metrics, financials, and business objectives.
A fundamental measure of workforce sustainability is the ratio between the number of technical team members and total number of robots in the field. The ratio refers to the number of employees directly responsible for the development, support, and management of the machines. The term “in the field” is also used to distinguish between deployment potential and actual fulfillment. Many robotics startups failed to understand the importance of defining a clear problem and a concrete solution.
A business plan is the foundation of a successful robotics startup. Without one, robotics startups won’t make it past the concept and testing stages. Additionally, investors want a business model that proves that investing in an idea will pay off. And without a clear business model, people will be skeptical about the startup, which will exacerbate the problem. But the good news is that the key to success is focusing on both elements.
Robotics startup founders must understand that designing autonomous robots is hard and requires interdisciplinary skills. Creating a product based on a technology demo is not an easy feat, and many teams end up making mistakes when it comes to turning it into a viable product. Lack of focus and incompetence are the primary causes of robotics startup failure. Millions of dollars invested in a startup can cause people to try to implement all the features at once.
Successful robotics startups focus on the technology and the business. They engage customers in discussions about the goals and vision of their company. They avoid mistakes and pivot when needed. The key to successful robotics startups is aligning the right investor group with the right strategy and vision. In addition to the technical aspects of automation, it is imperative to focus on the market. For example, success requires the right alignment of funds and the proper team.
In addition, robotics startups often fail to make use of the proper process and technology to solve problems. Often, these startups make the mistake of relying on a prototype instead of a real-world product. While this may be frustrating for investors and stakeholders, the prototype can serve as an opportunity to identify suppliers and manufacturers. By doing this, they can build a better business model and production plan. The prototype is the first step to manufacturing, and it’s critical to understand what goes wrong before you make a final product.
A recent example of a startup that failed to meet customer needs was Blue Workforce, which had sold its robots worldwide, but couldn’t raise sufficient financing to stay in business. Blue Workforce’s assets were bought by OnRobot within two weeks, and its founder, Hjornet, founded Open Robotica to help companies adopt industrial automation. Open Robotica now offers shared services and consulting to companies. Another case in point is France-based Hease Robotics, which launched the Heasy mobile robot kiosk at CES 2017 and raised $8 million.
The DevOps community emerged from an early discussion between Andrew Clay and Patrick Debois, who organized a DevOpsDays event in Belgium in 2009. Similarly, the RobOps community is now starting to come together. The non-profit Robot Operations Group is a collaborative effort of experts in operating robotics at scale. They meet monthly for virtual discussions, and recently published an open source manifesto.
As AI software evolves, robotics startups must keep up with it. While most modern robots are cool and have many benefits, they don’t match our expectations. People still compare robots to the machines in the Jetsons, C-3PO from Star Wars, or ExMachina. These robots simply can’t understand humans in public settings. If a robot can’t understand you, it won’t be a success.