No sales focus.
Companies are often created without sales people involved. But sales people look at the world differently and are more concerned with who is going to pay money for your product or service, and less concerned with saving the world. When a start up says “I want to bring 3D Printing to the world” they are really saying “we have no sales plan.”
The inventor is CEO.
These are two completely different skill sets. Inventors are imaginative creative types. While CEOs are very creative also they tend to focus on methodology. Why try to run a business without a business person?
This involves doing a whole bunch of activities that have nothing to do with getting the company going.
for example, one company wants to do 3D printed watch bands. They were talking to fashion magazines, designers and Chambers of Commerce. They did everything except making and selling watchbands (which is their core focus).
No investor strategy.
An example of this is simply not getting back to investors after a meeting. How many times have people pitched investors and then left them? It may not sound prestigious but raising money is a sales process.
Terms, staff and even some business methodology is subject to change with investors. Inventors are always saying “we want to keep control.” Well if you want full control, don’t take anyone’s money! People who give you money may have useful ideas. And even if the ideas aren’t useful, investors may want to be part of the process. There are also ways to give up control temporarily and then take it back when you are farther along in your business.