I am an entrepreneur based in San Francisco who has spent 3 years building a healthcare-related company. I have dropped $150K into the product. I have a few customers but no traction. I feel like giving up, but $150K is a hell of a lot of money to have put in.
Seth Godin in his book "The Dip" said: "You don't have the courage to quit".
That is a reframe on how most entrepreneurs view "quitting" or "giving up".
The point you should give up is when you consider four things.
1. Your mindset and passion for the project
2. Your metrics
3. Your market
The passion is extremely important because it fuels everything else in your business. If you don't have a positive mindset believe in what you're doing with full commitment and total un-resolve, you need to examine that first. 75% of success in business is mindset only 25% mechanics.
Second are your metrics. What are your K.P.I's? How are you viewing each one and what is the result you want to achieve in a specific time period for each one? Often it's easy to let passion take over the intellectual side of your business which are the metrics. You need to have balance and awareness of these things.
And is your market ripe for addition to it or are you betting on "hope"? How much have you accumulated to payback your investment? Are you growing each month or falling further behind? What is your market telling you they want or have the greatest challenge and desperately need a solution? What is their pain? Solve this and they will love you.
Lastly is your message. What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? How are you different from the others and what makes you so needed and desired that people love to talk about your product and services? Can you sum up what you are about in 10 words or less?
Work on these things first before you even consider giving up. If you are full throttle meaning scale of 1-10 you are hitting all these at 9 or 10 and still not seeing results. It's probably a good idea to look at another angle, market or product.
I hope that helps.
Remember... be a servant,