What is the TELOS Analysis?

The TELOS Analysis is a tool that helps Companies to prevent future threats to their Projects.


To do so, it analyzes 5 factors that are usually sources of Problems when developing Business Projects.

  • These Factors are key to determining the Viability of a Project.


Its name is an acronym for the 5 proposed Factors:

  • Technology.
  • Economic.
  • Legal.
  • Operational.
  • Schedule.

The Five Factors of TELOS Analysis

Technology: What Technology is needed and if it will work as expected.

  • Is that Technology available?
  • Can the Company get access to it?


Economic: If all the Economic factors are well assumed and calculated.

  • Can the Company meet its Financial needs?
  • Are Costs properly calculated?


Legal: All possible Legal Problems must be considered and taken care of.

  • Are there any regulations that could become a problem?
  • Can they vary over time?


Operational: What Strategy and Operations have been considered.

  • Is it the right Strategy?
  • Are Goals properly Defined?


Schedule: Everything related to Deadlines and How to meet them.

  • Are there Defined Deadlines?
  • Are there Incentives to comply withe the Schedule?

TELOS Analysis Template


As we often say, the best way to understand why this analysis is important is by looking at some examples:

TELOS Analysis examples

We have chosen 4 famous Crowdfunding Projects that Failed.

  • We will analyze why they failed using the TELOS Analysis.


We analyzed these projects in our “Crowdfunding” Page.

  • If you are interested about Crowdfunding, you should check ir out.


Let’s begin:

Star Citizen - TELOS Analysis example


Star Citizen is a video game that has raised over $300 million in Crowdfunding since 2012.


What happened?

  • More than 8 years later, the game is not finished Yet.


Which of the TELOS factors failed?



They promised a complete “Planetary System” with dozens of Planets to explore.

  • Basically, this is almost impossible now and even less 8 years ago.



Since they weren’t a well-established video game company, they had to hire new designers, programmers …

  • The project grew in a chaotic way.
    • Or that is what we think happened.

This is common in Startups.



It is very obvious that they don’t have strict Deadlines.

  • Otherwise, the project would be finished… 9 years after it started.

And they don’t have an end date yet.

OUYA - TELOS Analysis example


Ouya was intended to be a TV game console based on Android.

  • The Goal was to attract developers to the platform.


The project Raised $8.5 million.

2 years later, the company shutted down.


What Happened?



The video game industry changes every year.

  • The game-consoles may be the same but professional game developers improve how they optimize resources frequently.


Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are extremely professionalized.

  • A group of independent developers can’t compete with their Technology.



Despite raising $8.5 million, that amount of money is not enough for developing a competitive video game console.

  • As an example: Microsoft spent $100 million… to develop the Xbox One controller.
    • Just the controller.



Being a “Startup” they probably improvised a lot while developing this game console.

  • Closing the company 2 years after raising $8.5 millions makes us think they didn’t have a solid Strategy.

Pono Music - TELOS Analysis example


Pono Music was intended to be a high-quality mp3.

  • Instead of reading mp3 files they developed a new audio format.


The project raised $6.5 million.

3 years later, the company closed.


What happened?



The technology they developed was good… But unnecessary.

  • People like high-quality music. But not enough to pay (again) for all the music they already own.


Their Product was completely useless for Customers.



If they had been more organized they would have focused on certain professional niches.

  • Maybe, their product was useless for the general public but not for Audio professionals.
    • Cinema, TV, etc.


That makes us think that they didn’t define adequate Realistic Goals.

Reading Rainbow - TELOS Analysis example


This project aimed to help children improve their reading skills through a tablet application.

  • It was based on a TV show with the same name.
    • This project tried to revive that TV show with a Tablet App.


It raised $5.4 million.

3 years later, the project died.


What happened?



They had major legal issues related to copyright and trademark.

  • That is why this project failed.



If they had had a decent strategy, they could have foreseen this problem.

  • They could have reached an agreement … Or changed the name of the app.


Copyrights and trademarks can cause major problems.

  • They should have known that.

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