Close

Autopsy

Lessons from Failed Startups

by @niral89, @mmazco & milc.co

ABCDEF
1
DateStartupIdeaReason for FailureFull StoryFounder
2
Nov 2015HouseThisIndia's first NRI-focused Real Estate portalLost focus on the productLessons I learnt from failing at my first startup
3
Oct 2015HomejoyHome cleaning service.High cost of customer acquisitionHomejoy at the Unicorn Glue Factory@nolimits
4
Oct 2015EverythingMeAdds Contextual capabilities to mobile phonesNo business modelPopular Israeli app launcher EverythingMe closes down, most of staff let go
5
Aug 2015ZirtualUnlimited virtual assistant tasks for a monthly priceBurn rateZirtual: What Happened and What’s Next@marenkate
6
Aug 2015PoliMobileMobile marketing for political campaignsAhead of it's timeTiming is everything--especially in startups.@curtprins
7
Aug 2015Last Guide Co.Apps that encouraged real world interactionsFailure to adhere to the original visionGowalla founder Josh Williams shutters Last, a company that made apps to help you go outside@jw
8
Jun 2015alikoloe-Commerce MarketplaceInternal problem & wrong positioning in marketThis guy’s story of failing in Indonesia is refreshingly honest. Now he’s getting up and trying again@dannytaniwan
9
Jun 2015Circa Newsmobile news appLack of funding, no buyersFarewell to Circa News@mg
10
Jun 2015Tale of TalesCreate narrative based video games.Costs were higher than incomeAnd the sun sets...
11
Jun 2015Paid for StripeMost popular 3rd party app for Stripe for 2 yearsStripe built their own app.End of Life of an App@ryanscherf
12
Jun 2015LumosMachine learning enabled smart electrical switchesOverestimated machine learning & underestimated efforts in converting a prototype to fully functional hardware product5 Reasons Why My IoT Startup Failed@yashpkotak
13
Jun 2015Rate My SpeechImprove people's public speaking skillsLack of problem-solution fit, no real team, too much ego.Let it go, let it go… Sunset of my first startup: ratemyspeech.co@aszig
14
Jun 2015RewardMeLoyalty platform for restaurants and retailersPremature scaling and founder misalignmentPremature scaling killed us@junloayza
15
REMOTE HIRING: 1,329 auction sites failed, 1 succeeded. Click to join the winning team.
16
Jun 2015UDesignCreate & buy beautifully patterned women's clothing from your phone.We didn't stick to our original vision, and let spending get out of control.We went from fashion-tech prodigies to flaming heap of Jichael Meffries-inspired detritus in 1 short, emotional year.@econstreams
17
Jun 2015FastrWhatsapp for Customer ServiceWrong approach, wrong target marketFastr - Pitch@gregdsouza
18
Jun 2015GuGoA group-centric social intelligence platformCofounder disagreements, couldn't secure fundingHow to Learn From Your Mistakes in a Tech Startup in Order to Succeed@shermanbiz
19
May 2015Wattageeasily create customized hardware in your browserrun out of cashWell, We Failed@jeremybell
20
May 2015AllmyappsFirst appstore for Windows PCnot enough time spent on vision in the early days, too early marketing spending, too many early hires, and a lot more...Allmyapps — Story of an Almost Successful French Startup@thibauld
21
May 2015BitShuva RadioPandora for niche music genres and indie bandsit should have been a platformMy startup's dead! 5 things I learned@judahgabriel
22
Apr 2015RememberLiving scrapbook for your family's memories.No marketWhy My Startup Failed And What I Learned From It@iadriantan
23
Apr 2015SellanAppCrowdsourced mobile app publishing3 seed rounds without improving business model.What I’ve learned, 6 months after bankruptcy@Milann
24
Apr 2015KOLOSThe first iPad racing wheelNot something people wantedKolossal failure: 10 lessons I learned from burning through $50,000 on a hardware project that bombed@k_ivaylo
25
Apr 2015BluebirdSquarespace w/open source software & templateslack of financial & operational controls / inexperienced managementThe Art of Embracing Epic Failure@joshsimmons
26
Apr 2015Secretshare personal secrets anonymouslydoes not represent the vision when starting the companySunset@davidbyttow
27
Mar 2015BawteOne place. Everything you own. Forever.Customers were not adopting software = no incomeSaying Goodbye@bawte
28
Mar 2015Patterbuzzunbundle content & let users purchase single articles by enabling micro-paymentssuccess with concept but could not secure fundingPatterbuzz - Down but not out ...@amitgoel1287
29
Mar 2015KinikuRead your body's muscle electrical signals, and control things with itco-founders tried to do more than one startup at onceControl things with your muscles@dnghiem
30
Feb 2015StereomoodMood based music curation & recommendationUnsustainable business model for music licensing feesThe last song for Stereomood’s founders @danimelquiades
31
Feb 2015ComboCatsplatform for turn-based multiplayer gamesconsequences of Russia-Ukraine conflictPostmortem: Traps for Friends - our attempt at fair IAP multiplayer@ivmirx
32
Feb 2015College Inside ViewProvide more detailed student reviews of collegesI couldn't get enough reviewsCase study of a failed startup@adamzerner
33
Feb 2015DeviceFidelityContactless payments / NFC for iphoneApple built NFC into new product linewww.nfcworld.com/tag/devicefidelity/@amit_df
34
Jan 2015KinlyCreate a private social network for families.We didn't solve for distribution.The idea is dead. Long live the idea.@donsmithmier
35
Jan 2015Cusoycurated restaurant finder for people with food allergies No clear or predictable way to sustainabilityCusoy: A postmortem@melissatsang
36
Jan 2015StartheadCrowdfunding service for the whole world from Czech RepublicWe were naive idiotsThe idea of giving up is worse than of it killing me: How $150,000 post-it came to be?@michalsobel
37
Jan 2015PolianaVisualize political influenceDon't do politics unless you're ok to be non-profitThe life and death of a political startup@cereallarceny
38
Dec 2014Zagreb CohousingColiving space in Zagreb, CroatiaWrong place, wrong targetZagreb Cohousing FAIL
39
Nov 2014Springpaddigital notebooksnot able to scale to become a self-sustaining businessSpringpad says goodbye@jacq_hampton
40
Oct 2014Keep Fit Stay SaneAn Online Emotional GymCouldn't find a marketStartup postmortem: Keep Fit Stay Sane@gentlemantech
41
Oct 2014ShwrümOpenTable for Apparel ShoppingToo early + ran out of cash22 Mistakes I Made As A First Time Founder@ViableBen
42
Oct 2014Amiloomdevice forms network of people w/common friendscannot be clearly explained in 3 seconds3 Reasons Why My Tech Startup Failed@andershsi
43
Oct 2014WishareitFind and buy gifts with/for friends. Early hires + Didn't validate Business Model5 Mistakes I Made Launching a Startup@joaoromaolx
44
Sep 2014Emjoymenttinder for jobs99 reasons but a bit (code) ain’t one99 Problems But A Bit Ain’t One: Why My Startup Failed@asaven41690
45
Aug 2014Dinnrsame day ingredient delivery servicesimply didn't have legsSeven lessons I learned from the failure of my first startup, Dinnr@michalbohanes
46
Aug 2014LicensarioBilling system for SaaSBad marketingThe mistakes that killed my startup@gilsadis
47
Aug 2014X-FacePut your face on characters.Didn't solve a problem we cared aboutWhat we have learned from our failed Startup@demirbyilmaz
48
STARTUP SALE: Get A 30 Second, High-Converting Explainer Video For Just $197
49
Jul 2014Mopedmake messaging more web-friendlywe didn't build something that enough people wantedLaunching Sidestage After Failing At My First Startup@schuylerd
50
Jun 2014Imercive360°, full motion, interactive videostuck with the wrong strategy for too longImercive Post Mortem@keithbnowak
51
Jun 201499dressestrade fashion itemslack of product-market fit, and everything else in betweenMy startup failed, and this is what it feels like…@nikkidurkin99
52
Jun 2014PopinPrivate, mobile, location based social networkIdiotic customer developmentThree years@christopherbull
53
May 2014OpTierBusiness transaction management softwareComplex and buggy productFind farewel to OpTier@israelmazin
54
May 2014Bloom.fmmusic streaming servicethe deal fell through at the last minuteClose,but no cigar@oleg_bloom
55
May 2014Manillaonline platform to manage accounts and pay bills unable to achieve scale necessary for viable economicsManilla Is Shutting Down@schinella
56
May 2014PumodoApp for football players to share stats & accoladesWe didn't obsess over it and we didn't love itA startup postmortem with a happy ending? ..in Thailand@tfridriksson
57
May 2014HowDoPlace to discover, capture & share DIY & Craft guidesfailed to make the goal possiblethe last step@edwardjewson
58
Apr 2014Argylesocial media tools for B2B marketerscouldn’t compete with marketing giantsArgyle is shutting down our service@Ericboggs
59
Apr 2015orat.iodiscussion platform & plugina lot of reasonsAnother catchy headline why you should read this article about how my startup failed@3x14159265
60
Apr 2014Stippletag people, places, and objects in an imagedid not scale fast enough"Stipple Shuts down"@Premiumfixer
61
Apr 2014Samba Mobilead funded datahigh and increasing   unsustainable — data costsSamba Closing down@benartherton
62
Apr 2014Zumboxdigitized transactional postal mailtime & cost to deliver was more than market was prepared to investZumbox to shutter its operations@yarone
63
Mar 2014NeediumSocial media lead generation for small businessesToo early in market + extreme founder dilutionSeven Major Insights I Learned from my Failed Startup@sebprovencher
64
Mar 2015Criticashare your opinions on any websitedid not have that traction. And so we ran out of moneyMy Startup Failed@jasonhuertas
65
Mar 2015LayerVaultVersion control for designersFailed to generate enough revenueLayerVault is shutting down@kellysutton
66
Mar 2014World Burrowmake unused meeting rooms available for freeit would not work due to security restrictionsWhy I’m Open Sourcing My Failed Startup@nfeiglin
67
Mar 2014Mochi Mediaad network for developersanother casualty in the decline of FlashMochi Media Winding down services@etrepum
68
Mar 2014Salorixsocial media managementthe deal did not go throughSalorix shuts operations@santanuB01
69
Mar 2014Execon demand house cleaning servicedemand was very spiky, customer activation was hardWhat I learned from online to offline@ghazviian
70
Mar 2014Readmillapp to read and share ebooksnot possible to sell books on Apple’s platform at competitive priceEpiloque@henrikberggren
71
Feb 2014Blurttphoto sharing app for iPhoneI started to feel burned outShutting down Blurtt@jeanettec007
72
Jan 2014Canvas/DrawQuestDrawing/remixing communityout of cashToday my startup failed: Story of Chris Pool — founder of 4chan and DrawQuest.@moot
73
Jan 2014Delightvisualize how users interact with appsservice does not give intermediate values to your usersFailed to delight : Post -moterm of my first startup@thomaspun
74
Jan 2014OutboxDigitizes physical mailwasn't enough demand to support the cost modelOutbox Shuts Down Its Mail Digitizing Service@Evanbaehr
75
Dec 2013Exfmmusic discovery platformthe high costs of processing millions of new songs every monthChanging Tune@dankantor
76
Dec 2013Bookishnew destination to connect readers with booksa shallow container for banner adsBookish is a failing startup that could fundamentally change digital publishing@lazyvalue
77
Dec 2013Teamometertime tracking softwarefail to multiply big numbersstartup lessons learned from my first startup@stekliney
78
Dec 2013WahoolyExchange startup equity for social advocacyRan out of money. Pivoted too soon. What Entreprenuerial Fear and Failure Look Like@danerobert
79
Dec 2013Tigerbowsend physical gifts by email, facebook and twitterunable to execute on a strategy to drive early tractionTis the Season for a Tigerbow Post Mortem@itsdlevy
80
Nov 2013Everpixthe smart photo platformfailed to effectively position giants like Apple and GoogleOut of the picture: why the world's best photo startup is going out of business@wwayne
81
Nov 2013MyManualCustom instructions for home theater equipment by scanning barcodesInexperience with building productI fucked up@barnettlklane
82
Oct 2013Admazelyretargeting platform for web shopsran out of fundingStartup Failure: How it feels@pschlegel
83
Oct 2013Travelllllhottest travel news site on the planetthere was no real audienceTravelllll Post-Mortem@JohnONolan
84
Oct 2013Shnergleapp that allows to view a place in real timeproduct wasn't getting the traction it neededShnergle Post Mortem@JonnyBull2
85
Oct 2013UniSportonline hub for student sport"for a number of reasons"Someone else is building my failed start-up. @tomcarra
86
Sep 2013Sonarhelp users discover relevant contacts close byeveryone stood a better chance starting anewPostmortem of a Venture-backed Startup: Lessons Learned from the rise and fall of @Sonar@brett1211
87
Startup-dabbler discovers simple dopamine-hack to smash out his 5am morning routine on almost no sleep...
88
Sep 2013Intellibankonline CRM solutionwe did not achieve product-market fit7 things I learned from startup failure@puiwah
89
Sep 2013Fluda personalized mobile news platformNot giving enough time to stress and load testing Why Startups Fail: A Postmortem For Flud, The Social Newsreader@ghoshal
90
Aug 2013Flowtabapp to order and pay for drinks at a bar or nightclubhard to market ourselves properly in bars without being thereThe decline and fall of Flowtab@Mikettownsend
91
Jul 2013PollarizeSocial app that enables users to create an A/B questionIt was a free app that would've needed millions of users to get noticed, and selling it as a polling platform was never fully explored.Failed startup@wehtam
92
Jun 2013Saaspirerelevancy platformget the other sources stable before you can focus on the productLessons from my failed startup@ninomarakovic
93
May 2013ArkadInvestor relations softwareCustomer incentives were not aligned with buying the softwareLessons learned starting our first business@boxerbk
94
May 2013ThrivelyRadically simple 360 feedback for your teamLack of funding, no tech cofounder, challenging marketShutting down my startup@nickfassler
95
May 2013TotsyFlash sales for toddlers / young mothersCost per order > revenue per order + unsustainable marketing spendTotsy burns through $34 million, lays off its 83 employees, selling assets@ggauthereau
96
Apr 2013On-Q-itynon-invasive diagnostic monitoring tools cancer patientsdidn't have enough capital around the tableOn-Q-ity, a Cancer Diagnostic Company: R.I.P@MaraAspina
97
Apr 2013GroupSpacesa membership management platform for groupslack of product/market fit in the new marketsLooking back at 7 years with my startup GroupSpaces@andyy
98
Apr 2013Zillionearscreative pre-sale platform for musicianspeople really didn’t really LIKE anything about our productMy Startup Failed. F@<#.@nemrow
99
Mar 2013Formspringsocial platform to help people learn more about othersOur opaque follow-model shot us in the footFormspring- A postmortem@adeolonoh
100
Feb 2013Vitotocreate collaborative videos on smartphonesWe were not playing to our strengthsVitoto Offically Shutting Down@morokuapps
101
Feb 2013GowallaSocial guide to share & discover experiences and citiessomeone else found a path to the goal with less frictionPlay by your own rules.@jw
102
Jan 2013NokterFoursquare for nightlifePeople hang out usually same places with friendsNokter - Foursquare for Nightlife@alvaradomarcos9
103
Nov 2012Parceldstyle discovery platformtechnical co-founder quit & pulled the code out from under meLessons from my failed startup@brianne_garcia
104
Aug 2012Little PrinterSend, receive & print messages/photos from anywhereNo sustainable business in connected productsThe design company behind the Little Printer is dead@genmon
105
Jun 2012BellstrikeInstant websites for NonprofitsNot enough revenue per customerLessons learned from a self funded startup@doddcaldwell
106
Jan 2012Plancastsocial event sharing siteusers don't develop a strong habit of contributing contentThe Uphill Battle Of Social Event Sharing: A Post-Mortem for Plancast@jaymon
107
Nov 2011TalentArenaCommunity & marketplace for artists from different verticals.Aim for perfection in product prevented a proper sales job.How to fail a startup@maxrockt
108
Aug 2011HelloParkingairbnb for parkingrarely had meaningful conversations with our target end-usersPart Two of the HelloParking postmortem: a look back, and a new perspective@chris_hoog
109
Jul 2011MyFavoritesShow + Tell Your FavoritesI was blowing cash — at a ridiculous pace.The little startup that couldn’t (a postmortem of MyFavorites)@nb3004
110
Oct 2010Standout Jobsrelationship focused recruiting portalfounding team couldn't build an MVP on its ownA Postmortem Analysis of Standout Jobs@austinhill
111
Oct 2010Wesabepersonal finance management platformmost people use a shorter-term alternative if availableWhy Wesabe Lost to Mint@Marcprecipipe
112
Sep 2010NewsTilta platform for the new model of journalismweren’t intrinsically motivated by news and journalismWhy we shut NewsTilt down@paulbiggar
113
Aug 2010RiotVinesocial event guidenever generated the tractionPost-moterm@KabirH
114
Jun 2010YouCastrmonetize online videowe weren't in love with the idea or marketYouCastr- a post mortem@Arieldiaz
115
Jun 2010eCrowdsweb content management meets social networkingtoo much time building it for ourselves & not getting feedbackPost Mortem on a Failed Product@Davidklanac
116
Nov 2010CertTimeDigital timestamping serviceWrong audienceCertTime@apankrat
117
Apr 2010Devverturns desktop tools into cloud-based services. focused on engineering first & customers secondLessons Learned@davidcohen
118
Mar 2010SMSnoodleSMS based entertainment channel for Singaporeoverestimated the Singapore market4 Mistakes Made And Lessons Learnt by Vijay of SMSnoodle@vijaykganesan
119
Feb 2010EventVueOnline communities to connect conference attendeesdidn’t focus on learning & failing fast until it was too lateEventVue-Post mortem@joshfraser
120
Aug 2009LookeryEnable social networks to distribute data as targeting infodependant on another platformCouldery shouldery@sawickipedia
121
Jul 2009SampaPlatform for families & friends to share stories, photos, events and milestonesNot big enough pain at a time Facebook made sharing so easy (2008-ish)Anything and Everything About Sampa, From Business to Personal@calbucci
122
Jul 2009TeeBeeDeesocial network for people over 40did not scaleTurning Out the Lights
123
Apr 2009PlayCafean online game show networkwe didn't reach enough users10 lessons from a failed startup@devnag
124
Jan 2009Overtoauction aggregation serviceno one of us was skilled in that areaLessons Learned: Startup Failure Part 1@pawelbrodzinski
125
Dec 2008Difflesocial network based on simple 2D flash gamesit ended up going nowhere'Aftermath@jontang
126
Jul 2008Monitor110data and information gathering servicenot close enough to the customerMonitor 110: A post mortem@infoarbitrage
127
Jun 2008BricaBoxpersonal social contenttackled a technical problem, not a Market ProblemBricaBos: Goodbye World@kylebragger
128
May 2008Meetroa multi-network social messengerpeople just weren't excited about the idea'Anatomy Of A Failure: Lessons Learned@Vlauria
129
May 2008Kikoan online calendartoo slow at times, and focused on the wrong thing at timesLessons from Kiko, web 2.0 startup, about Its Failure@justinkan
130
Apr 2008Nouncermicro-blogging servicelacked the audience my product needed to succeedThe Last AnNounce(r)ment@eranhammer
131
Jul 2007Backfencecreate hyper-local community sitesinternal problems made it impossible to reach transition pointCo-Founder Potts Shares Lessons Learned from Backfence Bust@pottsmark
132
Jan 2007BitpassOnline micropaymentscrappy business model, tried to do too much, lack of focusBitpass Croaks: Is This the End of Micropayments?@_nvs
133
Jul 2006Cryptineinformation security servicesthe board couldn't break the deadlockkey lessons from Cryptine network's failure@nunderwood
134
May 2000Boo.comHigh End Sportwear e-tailerHigh ambitions, poor executionBoo.com goes bust