Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, wrote this essay almost ten years ago. It seems that his observations still hold true today:
October 2006[[[[[[[[[[[[[ In the Q & A period after a recent talk, someone asked what made startups fail. After standing there gaping for a few seconds I realized this was kind of a trick question. It’s equivalent to asking how to make a startup succeed-if you avoid every cause of failure, you succeed-and that’s too big a question to answer on the fly.